LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As music serenaded those standing side by side on the capitol grounds, blue and silver pinwheels blew in the wind as a symbol of our state’s commitment to combat child abuse and neglect.
“I think it’s very important that we make everyone aware in the state of Michigan that child abuse neglect still does occur,” said Maryanne Lalonde; Rally Attendee.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 38,000 children were affected last year alone in Michigan and those rallying on Wednesday want to make it known that this issue is still prevalent and needs to be confronted.
“You’re only a child once and for anyone to ruin that is just a horrific thing to do and that’s what these abusers and pedophiles do, they prey on the weak,” Klimoman stated; a member of Biker’s Against Child Abuse.
This is 2-year-old Zayden and his mom Kari Jones says he’s a victim of abuse.
“He was born healthy, completely fully functioning and everything and then his father abused him when he was 6 months old so it’s left him blind, he’s non-mobile, non-verbal,” said Jones.
A reason why Jones says it’s crucial to draw attention to child maltreatment so we can learn how to spot the problem and prevent it through programs like the “Children’s Trust Fund.”
“The work that we do at the Children’s Trust Fund is all grounded in scientific research that we understand today that there are things called protective factors including resilience and social connections and providing concrete support in times of need,” said Emily Schuster-Wachsberger; coordinator of the rally.
And as those rallying marched down Michigan Avenue, they planted their pinwheels with hopes of making a difference.