April 10, 2016 - Album - Community leaders, child protection agencies and citizens of Shelby County gathered on the Center square April 8, 2016 to recognize the issue of child abuse by honoring its victims.
Alice Pate, Community Partners Rainbow Room, welcomed everyone who attended the event and at her request Rob Merriman, First Baptist Shelbyville Pastor, led the group in an opening prayer.
Pate felt the blue ribbon tree is a touching way to remember the victims of abuse in Shelby County, "People think it doesn't happen in small communities, but it's everywhere."
Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison thanked the Community Partners Rainbow Room, Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center and volunteers for their participation. She also shared some of the statistics pertaining to Shelby County. "As of last year, we had 90 confirmed victims of abuse in Shelby County and we had 59 kids to go into foster care, but unfortunately we had one child who died because of the abuse that had been put upon them."
Harbison said many people asked her last year what the blue ribbons and the ceremony on the square were about. She said that gave her the opportunity to share and explain.
The participants then commenced to tying the ribbons to the tree to remember those victims of abuse. The balloons were an additional recognition for all unknown cases of abuse.