(Media release from Exchange Club of Rome, GA):

April is nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month as well as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Traditionally the local child abuse and neglect prevention agencies kick the month off with the planting of a pinwheel garden. Why pinwheels? By its very nature, the pinwheel connotes playfulness, joy, and childhood. It has come to serve as a physical reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children.

On Thursday, April 6th, representatives from multiple agencies met on the lawn of the Harbin Clinic Pediatrics Center to plant blue and teal pinwheels, with blue representing child abuse prevention and teal representing sexual assault awareness. This year’s theme is Partnering to Prevent Child Abuse: Building a Brighter Future Together. Family Resource Center Executive Director Tina Bartleson spoke to the group assembled, explaining that individuals are like threads that can break under stress, but when the threads are supported by other threads, they form a rope that is not easily severed. The agencies in the human services network are those supporting threads to individuals who are under stress, and working together they create strong, healthy individuals and families. 

Sponsored by Harbin Clinic, Child Abuse Prevention Month is packed with multiple events to highlight the ongoing efforts of the partnering agencies–including the Exchange Club Family Resource Center, Rome/Floyd Commission on Children and Youth, Harbor House, and the Sexual Assault Center. These agencies jointly work to combat child abuse, neglect, and sexual assault. The public is invited to participate in upcoming events hosted by these agencies. Highlights include a free lunch and discussion on the “Big Picture of Child Well-being on April 18th and culminate with an awareness event “The Walk” on April 28th. To download a complete calendar of events and for information on RSVP requirements, visit

Agencies partnering to create awareness during Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness month are represented by (L-R) Tina Bartleson (Family Resource Center), Dr. Charles McBride (Harbin Clinic), Daizha Staples (Georgia Northwestern Technical College), LaDonna Collins (Rome Floyd Commission on Children & Youth), Kimberly King (Sexual Assault Center), Allen Babcock (Harbor House), Rep. Katie Dempsey, Dr. Melissa Davis (Davis Sabino Harbin Pediatrics), Lynn Rousseau (Hospitality House), & Whitney Gates (Open Door Home).