Blue and silver toy pinwheels sparkle in the sun and spin endlessly with the breeze on the front lawn of the Santa Clara Police Department at 601 El Camino Real, by the Caltrain Station. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the pinwheel garden is part of the national Pinwheels for Prevention campaign.
“We want folks to talk about child abuse and be involved—to take photos of the pinwheels and post them on social media. We want to engage commitment to healthier families and to protect our children,” says Santa Clara Police Department spokesperson Lt. Kurt Clarke.
“Pinwheels are common to children,” points out Sunnyvale resident Tony Chang, walking from his parked car April 3 to have a closer look at the pinwheels. “Every Child Matters” is written on the stake of each pinwheel.
“Child abuse has the connotation of being a problem in the home, but, really, it can come from anywhere, and as a parent, you want to be aware of what the forms of child abuse are. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional. We need to be aware and figure out how to end child abuse,” says Chang, who has a five-year-old son.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 2013 annual report on child maltreatment, 52 states reported 678,932 victims of child abuse and neglect. Neglect was the most common type of maltreatment, for 79.5% of children, and abuse, for 18.0% of children.
The police department pinwheel garden will be on display through April 15th. Visit www.childwelfare.gov for information on child abuse, including how to recognize and prevent it.