SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Salt Lake County leaders and The Family Support Center have planted 3,741 blue pinwheels, each representing one child who’s a confirmed victim of child abuse in Salt Lake County last year.  

That doesn’t account for all the cases that aren’t confirmed and the children still being abused today.

“Be aware, take a look, listen, children will let you know when there’s something wrong, “says Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera.

Thousands of blue pinwheels can be seen spinning in the wind, a reminder of the victims of child abuse along with those who have been helped and those who haven’t.

“So, there are many kids [who] aren’t strong enough to report it, or their parents haven’t, or they think it’s the norm,” said Heidi Lund, director of Family Support Center’s Life Start Village.

One of the people planting pinwheels in the ground is Lund who is also a survivor of child abuse. 

“I didn’t understand or grasp the kind of abuse I was really having until I got out of it,” Lund said. 

She said she’s also a parent who’s struggled in the past with a cycle of substance abuse and then went to the Family Support Center to get help. 

“I started there and never even had a job before. When I first moved in there, I sold drugs because that’s what I’ve been taught,” recalls Lund.

Now she’s the director of their LifeStart Village, the same place that helped her get back on her feet and eventually become a homeowner. Lund now teaches others what she has learned while turning her life around.  

“I wanna get you to be okay being alone, so you’re not going to settle, to be in those unhealthy relationships, ’cause you know you’re going to be able to make it,” said Lund. 

Salt Lake County leaders say child neglect is the number one cause of abuse. There are resources for parents to seek help that they shouldn’t be ashamed of. They say it’s everyone’s responsibility to look out for our children. 

Reflecting on her life, Lund says the main difference between her present life and her childhood is happiness. 

“I thought that happiness came every once in a while, or like if everything was going good in the family, like that’s what I thought happiness was at the time, but now when I wake up, like I’ll struggle, but I’m still happy,” said Lund.

For more resources on child abuse prevention, click here