Local organization places pinwheels in Myrick Park to raise awareness about Child Abuse Prevention Month

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Something new might catch your eye while walking through one local park.

As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Coulee Region Child Abuse Prevention Task Force is placing pinwheels in Myrick Park.

They represent the number of child abuse and neglect reports La Crosse County receives each year.

Between January 2019 to April 2020, Child Protective Services received 1,107 reports of abuse in La Crosse County, but only 33% of those cases were investigated.

That’s according to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

But now there’s worry that reports will decrease because of the Safer-at-Home Order.

Which is why one organizer says we need to be prepared to help.

“When things open up, I think that some of our kids will start saying ‘this is what happened to me over the last two months,’ and we need to be ready as a community to say that some of our kids have not been safer at home,” said Nicole Milliren, Chair of the Task Force.

The organization has another initiative taking place.

It’s called ‘Great Kids Start With You.’

It’s to help get kids involved with raising awareness about child abuse and helping the community.

It also includes a t-shirt design contest for area fourth and fifth graders.

Ceci Mulholland, 11, was this year’s design winner.

“I’m really excited, this means a lot to me,” Mulholland said.

Child abuse and neglect are most often reported by educators, social service workers, or healthcare providers.

But you can help too.

If you see something, please say something.

You can learn more about reporting child abuse through the La Crosse County Human Services Department website.