White and blue pinwheels circled in the wind on the front lawn of the Chautauqua Municipal Building on Wednesday.
Almost 12,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect throughout the state during 2016, enough to fill 594 classrooms, according to the organization's website. "In particular, we should join together-at the community level-to reach out and touch families who are struggling and do all that we can to support them so they can support their children", B.J. Walker, acting director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, said in a news release.
Brunson said some of the most significant improvements can come from ordinary members of a community, in their work and neighborhoods, stepping in to help others when they notice a problem.
Everyone in Freestone County is encouraged to become more aware of child abuse prevention and should consider helping parents raise their children in a safe, nurturing environment. Abused or neglected children include those whose health or welfare is harmed or at risk of harm when his or her guardian inflicts or creates risk for physical or emotional injury, displays patterns of substance abuse, abandons or exploits the child, or does not provide the child with adequate care. "We are committed to go after offenders to get maximum jail term behind bars", he said.
Parents having the necessary tools is one of the most important ways to prevent abuse and maltreatment, Frysz said.
Park hoped the event spreads awareness to those who are unaware of the presence of child abuse in the community.
Park said anyone who wants to report an act of child abuse should contact the child abuse hotline at 1-800-342-3720. "When you bring it to light like this it gives people the opportunity to see there is help available, and hopefully this will draw the needed attention to it".