Pinwheel Event Raises Awareness for Victims of Child Abuse - 8 News NOW

Pinwheel Event Raises Awareness for Victims of Child Abuse

Posted: Updated:

LAS VEGAS - More than 3,500 children in Nevada were the victims of abuse or neglect in 2012. Saturday, more than a dozen groups in Las Vegas came together to raise awareness in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Child Maltreatment Report in 2009 ranked Nevada with the fourth highest rate of children removed from their homes. People at the Pinwheels for Prevention event said one case is too many, and it's up to everyone to protect children.

The family friendly event featured three performances and a variety of entertainment for kids, but it also carried a serious message.

Friday, Metro Police responded to eight calls for child abuse or neglect. Saturday morning before the event began, three calls had already gone out.

Sergeant Joshua Bitsko with Metro's Abuse/Neglect Detail says many cases are at the hands of the boyfriend or girlfriend of a parent.

"Just because they love you, does not mean they love your children, or that they are ready to have children," said Bitsko.

He said parents need to leave their children with people they trust. Police also urge people to contact law enforcement if they see something suspicious.

"People hear, ‘See something, say something,' and they think it is terrorism related," said Bitsko. "But, if you see your neighbor or the kids have marks on them, or you suspect child abuse inside the home, call us."

Prevent Child Abuse Nevada hosted the event, which included more than a dozen community groups with booths, flyers and information. They echoed Bitsko's advice.

"You don't have to know that something's happening," said Prevent Child Abuse Nevada Executive Director Tara Phebus. "You just have to have a suspicion, and then you call and let the professionals do an investigation."

It's a simple message, but one Bitsko said can save thousands of children from abuse and neglect. "I would rather investigate 10 incidents of abuse that didn't occur … than to miss one," he said.

Mari Parlade, a manager with Clark County Department of Family Services also attended the event. She said a new unit called the Community Partnership and Engagement Division has been formed to connect with families in crises and try and prevent child abuse or neglect before it happens.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.