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Pinwheels help raise awareness of child abuse

WOODSTOCK – Collections of pinwheels placed in a couple of high-profile spots around Woodstock are helping raise awareness during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Pinwheels for Prevention are spinning at Dick Tracy Park and outside the Old Courthouse, representing a “bright future for our children and our community.”

Community members could buy a pinwheel for a dollar to be placed in one of the pinwheel gardens.

The Child Advocacy Center of McHenry County paired with Court Appointed Special Advocates of McHenry County, Northwest Treatment Associates and Turning Point to develop the program.

“Education and prevention has become a very important issue in Illinois,” said Jim Wiegand, director of the Child Advocacy Center of McHenry County.

The agencies got a win early this year when Gov. Quinn signed into law a requirement that elementary and middle school students be taught abuse and assault awareness and prevention.

“Erin’s Law,” as it is known, is named after Illinois native Erin Merryn, who first spoke out about her experience with sexual abuse when she was 13.

“It’s become something that CAC’s really trying to get involved in,” Wiegand said. “Helping schools develop a curriculum for child abuse prevention.”

Wiegand sees the pinwheels as a way to inform the public about child abuse prevention.

“You put a little sign that each pinwheel represents the life of a child, and you kind of raise awareness that child abuse is not OK,” he said.

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