Etowah County Pinwheel Ceremony
Light rain around lunchtime today did not dampen the spirits of child protection agencies, law enforcement and judicial personnel as they gathered to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month - and to place pinwheels on the front lawn of the Etowah County Judicial Building. The blue pinwheels are placed by the James M. Barrie Center for Children as a reminder of the interviews they have conducted as the result of sexual abuse investigations in the county. This year, 241 pinwheels were placed – each representing a child victim of abuse. Barrie Center director Patricia Falcon says that statistics show that child sexual abuse is still a big problem in our society. Area law enforcement and local judges also participated in today’s event - all of them praising the Barrie Center for the work they do in providing a safe environment for the forensic interviews that must take place in sexual abuse cases. Assistant D.A. Carol Griffith says that her job as a prosecutor would be much more difficult without the work done by the Barrie Center. The Barrie Center is a non-profit that relies on the generosity of the community and grants from various agencies. They have provided services for more than 3,000 direct victims and more than 6,000 secondary victims since 2003. You can help support the center by participating in a couple of special fund-raisers coming up in May. More details on those events will be coming in the next few weeks.