CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of Charleston has been declared a ‘Pinwheel City’ for 2021 as it works to raise awareness about child abuse prevention.

Officials with Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center say the pinwheel serves as a national symbol of child abuse.

“It’s important to continue raising awareness about child abuse,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. “Sadly, child abuse does occur in our city, in our state, and in our world. So, these wonderful advocacy groups – like Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center and Children’s Trust of SC – continue every year to raise awareness.”

Pinwheels are planted in gardens throughout April to honor children in communities across the country to recognize National Child Abuse Awareness Month and bring awareness to prevention efforts.

“They use the symbol of a pinwheel as a fun, whimsical thing, because children shouldn’t have to live in fear. They should be having fun, they should be learning, they should be pursuing opportunities in life – not worried about being abused,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.

Mayor Tecklenburg said while it’s a tough conversation to have, if you see or suspect child abuse, you should have a conversation with a family member or someone you think is appropriate and report it to authorities.

“We need to be aware and try to protect the children in our community,” he said.

You can find the pinwheels around Colonial Lake and in various areas around the city.