FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and a few state and local organizations are urging folks to keep an extra close eye on struggling families.
The sidewalks of West Main Street in Fort Wayne are lined with pinwheels.
“The pinwheel is a universal sign or universal connotation or notation for child abuse prevention. It really is a symbol of innocence,” Dee Szyndrowksi said.
Szyndrowki says Stop Child Abuse and Neglect, better known as SCAN, wants them to be a beacon of hope for abused or neglected children.
“Parenting is the hardest job ever and you know right now we have a lot of stressors as parents. Last year even more so than just regular kind of parenting stress,” she said.
Szyndrowski says family dynamics have gotten tense through the pandemic.
“Some of us have lost our jobs, some of us have to sit in an unemployment line, some of us are waiting for unemployment to come and when all of those stressors start to occur, it’s like a pressure cooker in a home.”
Sandra Runkle with Prevent Child Abuse Indiana says there are ways to prevent these situations from getting dangerous.
“This is not something that is only meant for social workers or child protective services, this really must be a community effort,” Runkle said.
If it has gotten out of hand, here are some warning signs:
“Bruising, especially in children who aren’t mobile, bruising like in soft tissue areas, certain behavioral changes.”
Her message to anyone who may be a victim of maltreatment or neglect:
“Maybe it’s a family member, maybe it's a neighbor, maybe it’s somebody in the faith community, a teacher, whomever to make sure and reach out and just share some of those feelings and that they’re not alone.”
Both SCAN and PCAIN hope April and every month of the year, children are growing up in happy, healthy homes.
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana’s biggest suggestion is that if you see something say something.
To issue a report, call 1-800-800-5556