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Volunteers place blue pinwheels in honor of Utah child abuse victims

More than 10,000 kids were abused in the Beehive State last year.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Family Support Center and Salt Lake County leaders plant 3,616 blue pinwheels in honor of every child who was abused in the county during 2020 on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and the Pinwheels for Prevention event was planted outside the Salt Lake County Government Center as a symbol to bring attention to the faces behind the numbers.

Volunteers placed 3,616 blue pinwheels Wednesday on the west lawn of the Salt Lake County Government Center along State Street in honor of the children who were abused in the county last year.

Mayor Jenny Wilson, members of the Family Support Center and other community members and leaders gathered by the pinwheels Wednesday morning “to stand up for the faces behind the numbers” during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, according to a news release.

Wilson also called on “all residents to do what they can to protect children and prevent child abuse.”

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Family Support Center and Salt Lake County leaders plant 3,616 blue pinwheels in honor of every child who was abused in the county during 2020 on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and the Pinwheels for Prevention event was planted outside the Salt Lake County Government Center as a symbol to bring attention to the faces behind the numbers.

In 2020, there were 10,564 children in Utah who were “physically, mentally, sexually, and emotionally abused or neglected,” the release said.

As researchers continue to work to understand the full effect that the COVID-19 pandemic had on child abuse rates in the state and across the country, it’s important that adults “be the voice that children need,” Dr. Antoinette Laskey, division chief of child protection and family health at the University of Utah Health, said Monday in a virtual news briefing.

Editor’s note • The state abuse and neglect hotline is answered 24 hours a day at 855-323-3237. Kids who have a smartphone can use the SafeUT app, which is anonymous. Parents can contact helpmegrowutah.org for assistance, including family support centers and crisis nurseries.

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