Child Abuse Prevention Month to Raise Public Awareness

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If you've taken a drive around Tallahassee you may have noticed thousands of small pinwheels blowing in the wind.

"We are recognizing through our pinwheels newborns, and the amount of newborns in Leon County over the last year," said Christie Ferris, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida.

3,105 small symbols bringing to light the larger issue of child abuse in this country.

An officer with the Tallahassee Police Department, Lisa Pontoriero, has worked directly with child protection for 15 years and says the number of children being abused and neglected is a major problem.

"It's an epidemic, child abuse. Three children will die before today's over this country, from being abused or neglected" said OFC Pontoriero.

It's numbers like those that have prompted several organizations to take part in a state wide campaign: The Winds of Change.

And organizers say community participation is key.

"Writing policy makers to support prevention efforts or just helping out a neighbor who has a child, or even watching neighborhood children as they play and making sure that they're in a safe environment,” said Ferris.

"Make sure you're aware of the dynamics and what child abuse can look life; a child that's coming to school and may be wearing the same clothing over and over again, severe body odor, not having lunch, a child that has bruises. Ask questions, don't be afraid to get involved and find out what's going on," said Pontoriero.

Organizers say getting involved could make the difference in a child's life.