VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - April is child abuse prevention month and Valdosta is raising awareness.
More than 1,000 blue pinwheels spin in the wind on the front lawn of Valdosta's City Hall, but not just for decoration.
"Each pinwheel represents a child that has been abused in our community from last year," explains Prevent Child Abuse advisory board member Sandra Wilcher, "So it's just a way to represent the number of children that have been abused in our community."
It's something the city has done for the last 20 years to help raise awareness in the community. More than 70 people from various child abuse prevention organizations gathered for breakfast before turning the city blue. They placed the pinwheels on the lawn and blue ribbons throughout downtown.
"To just recognize how many children are abused in our community. The magnitude of the numbers. If you had all those children standing there, but also to remind you the life that children bring to our community," says Wilcher.
1,231 pinwheels were placed on the lawn this year. That's roughly 200 more pinwheels than last year.
Advocates say seeing more spinning pinwheels in front of City Hall is not necessarily a bad thing.
"Whenever we see more pinwheels that means more people are speaking and that's what awareness and prevention is about," explains Valdosta Police Department detective Sabrina Smith.
The pinwheels will remain displayed as a reminder for the community until the end of this month.
"When I look at this and everyday that I'll pass by for this month it's a reminder that someone exercised their right to have a voice," Smith says.
Along with the pinwheels blue ribbons have also been placed throughout downtown.