Ten years ago, Pinwheels for Prevention began in America. It’s the idea of placing blue pinwheels in the ground to gain awareness for abused children, which grew from the idea of simply wearing the color blue.
On Friday, local community members joined together in a collective effort at the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center for a ceremony to bring awareness to the issue of child abuse.
According to the Mohawk Valley YWCA, in 2017 there were 426 child abuse cases reported in Oneida County. Throughout the U.S., there is one reported every 10 seconds.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is working to bring awareness to these numbers. He says that between law enforcement and agencies such as the Child Advocacy Center, these numbers have been limited.
Sheriff Rob Maciol and members of the Child Advocacy Center were also present at Friday’s ceremony to show their support.
“Well there are some days when we get five, six cases a day; there other days we get two,” said Joseph Lisi, director of the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center. “We averaged about over 750 last year, cases coming into the CAC. We did almost 85 medical exams here. We’re hoping not to be busy; someday we’re hoping to not have one case, but realistically I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. But as long as awareness is out there, that means that people call, and when people call, we help children, so that's the important part.”
The Child Advocacy Center also wants to emphasize that if you see something, you should say something. If you know someone who is a victim of child abuse, you can call the Child Advocacy Center at 315-732-3990.