April marks Child Abuse Prevention Month

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JOPLIN, Mo. — April is child abuse prevention month.

What are two organizations doing to raise awareness? The Children’s Center and Children’s Haven are putting out pinwheels throughout Joplin.

Both organizations are hoping it raises awareness to end abuse.

Desiree Breidenstein, Community Outreach Coordinator, said, “The more people that are aware of signs and symptoms and ways that they can help prevent abuse the bigger the safety net is for children.”

The Children’s Center helps kids who have been abused tell their story once so they won’t be retraumatized telling investigators what happened multiple times.

They say family members can spot abuse by changes in the child’s behavior. The nonprofit wants to educate the community about abuse and how to prevent it.

“One important thing I think adults need to be aware of is that they can help children by educating their own children. Educating them about body safety, educating them about using proper terms and that just the very basics.”

You’ll see blue pinwheels popping up throughout Joplin. They reflect the happy childhood children deserve.

Children’s Haven in Joplin is another resource that helps kids in need. They offer a temporary home for kids if there families are experiencing stress.

Stephanie Theis, Executive Director of Children’s Haven of Southwest Missouri, said, “We are just here to provide a loving home to kids when they need us most to protect them and help their families access community resources to really strengthen them and stabilize them so kids go back to a safe home environment.”

Thursday is national Go Blue Day for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

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