Child advocates use pinwheels to raise awareness of rising abuse cases

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Child Advocacy Center in Fayetteville has seen a 20 percent increase in child abuse cases in the past year and the staff is anticipating even more for 2021.

That's why the nonprofit is using Child Abuse Awareness Month to bring attention to this serious issue. Pinwheels can be seen spinning all over Fayetteville. Each one represents a child's life affected by abuse. The Child Advocacy Center provides services and resources for those young victims.

"We want them to be in a free and safe environment so they can grow and they can prosper and they have the support that they need," said Tammy Hyde, who works at the center.

Hyde said 2020 was a very challenging year with increasing numbers of abuse cases that don't appear to be slowing.

"Cases are usually reported through the school system so we know the additional stresses of the pandemic, children being at home. Now that kids are back in school we are unfortunately anticipating an increase in cases," Hyde said.

Donors and the community support keep the center's programs running, but there is a desperate need for more resources. Fundraising events have been halted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the center has been unable to raise extra funds. The staff hopes as the state opens they can recruit more volunteers and return to holding annual events to help children in need find healing and hope.

"You're seeing a child that unfortunately went through a horrendous experience, but you're able to see them come out on the other side stronger and encouraged and to be able to have a bright future ahead of them," Hyde said.

The Child Advocacy Center is optimistic it will be able to host its annual Pinwheel Masquerade Ball this October.
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