LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—Blue and silver pin wheels spun as children stood up and sang songs on the steps of the state capitol.
It’s part of a rally to prevent child abuse and create stronger Michigan families. For people there today like Sharon Barry–supporting kids facing abuse is her life’s mission.
“I often thought they didn’t have a voice and so I wanted to be a voice for children who needed help,” said Member of the Family Support Center in Barry County, Sharon Barry.
Leaders today said that last year there were 16,000 child abuse complaints–that’s an average of 67 children every day, but Barry says progress is being made.
“I think children are becoming more aware that they can talk to safe adults about situations.”
Leaders with the Children’s Trust Fund of Michigan like Suzanne Greenberg also say the state currently has more than 100 programs to help kids and families. This includes prevention. It’s something Greenberg says is key.
“Together with a lot of different partners we’re really raising up prevention and I think that for a while or a long time there have been folks within the department and a lot of research that says prevention works, so it’s just now that it’s being lifted up at the federal level and the state level, and it’s wonderful to be a part of that transformation,” said Executive Director for the Michigan Children’s trust fund, Suzanne Greenberg.
Barry says seeing so many people advocating for kids inspires her to keep the wheels spinning for even more awareness.
“I want them to be aware that every child has the right to be treated well and they can be part of that treatment by saying hi, by smiling, and by encouraging that child to grow.”