CLINTON — “Hands Around the Courthouse” on April 1 will again remind Clinton residents that they share the responsibility for standing united against child abuse.

At 12:15 p.m. those in attendance will hold onto a blue ribbon, signifying a united effort to keep all children safe.

Clinton Mayor Rodger Holm will read a proclamation declaring April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month. Other speakers will be Clinton Police Chief Brian Guy, Sheriff Rick Lincoln, Lori Frick from the Iowa Department of Human Services, Judge Nancy Taber and Clinton School District Superintendent Richard Basden.

Pastor Laura Renault of First Congregational Church will offer the closing prayer.

Blue ribbons, representing the bruises and scars that abused children carry, will be placed on the courthouse lawn, while pinwheels will reflect the bright future that all children deserve and that “getting it right early is less costly than trying to fix it later,” according to Shirley Darsidan, a founder of Grandparents and Other United for Positive Changes.

“Gathering as a community reminds us we all have a responsibility to keep children safe and be supportive of healthy, nurturing families,” she said.

“A children’s memorial flag will fly throughout the month at Fifth Avenue South and Riverview Drive to raise awareness of the need to eliminate violence against children and to be a symbol to every man, woman and child that we are all responsible to protect one another.”

A candlelight prayer circle will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 27, in First Congregational Church, 700 N. Bluff Blvd., to remember children living in or having died due to abuse or neglect.

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