Virginia Beach plants thousands of pinwheels for child abuse awareness

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A sea of blue pinwheels has flooded the lawns of the Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in an attempt to raise awareness for National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

All April long, 3,000 pinwheels will hold their ground for drivers and pedestrians to see. The tradition was started in honor of the Virginia Beach Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) founding member Leah Waitzer.

CASA spokeswoman Stacy Nixon says Waitzer died in February of this year.

“She paved the way for many to serve, making an impact on generations of families not only in the Hampton Roads region, but across the globe,” says the group’s Facebook post. “This garden was planted in her memory, AND in honor of the legacy that she leaves for us to continue.”

Stacy Nixon has been with CASA for several years. She said the organization’s continued work through the pandemic was crucial.

The past year has made the significance of the pinwheel garden go far beyond just reported abuse. It also represents those who have suffered quietly in isolation brought on by the pandemic.

Although the display of solidairty spins in near silence, Stacy hopes we start talking about and reporting potential child abuse or neglect at a louder volume.

If you or some one you know is experiencing any form of abuse, you are not alone.

Child Abuse/Neglect Hotlines:

  • State Hotline: (800) 552-7096
  • Out-of-state: (804) 786-8536
  • Hearing-impaired: (800) 828-1120
  • Virginia Beach Hotline: (757) 385-3400

For more information on child abuse and neglect:

10 On Your Side has compiled a list of local and national resources for residents to fight and prevent domestic violence and child abuse.

In the United States, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) including sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Domestic Violence Prevention Resources

10 On Your Side is committed to help Break The Cycle of domestic violence in Hampton Roads. 

Here is a link to all of the local groups or agencies we have highlighted. The page also shares testimonials of survivors.

Here are some local and national resources for victims in need of help.

Transitions Family Violence Services in Hampton

YWCA South Hampton Roads in Norfolk

LGBTQ Life Center in Norfolk

  • Provides: Intimate partner abuse counseling and support group, safety planning, crisis intervention and education sessions. Assistance with emergency housing and legal services. Youth services and support groups.
  • 757-640-0929

Military Family Advocacy Program in Norfolk

  • Provides: Prevention of family violence, victim safety/protection, offender accountability, rehabilitative education/counseling, and command intervention
  • 757-444-2230
  • Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate (DAVA)after hours: 757-438-4180

Avalon Center in Williamsburg

  • Phone: 757-258-5022
  • Offers transitional housing, emergency shelter, youth services, legal advice, and counseling.
  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline: 757- 258-5051

Samaritan House Inc. in Virginia Beach

  • Phone: 757-631-0710
  • Offers counseling, emergency shelter placement, and safety planning.
  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline 757-430-2120

HER Shelter in Portsmouth

  • Phone: 757-485-1445
  • Offers emergency services, court assistance, shelter, employment, housing assistance.
  • Hotline: 757-485-3384

Eastern Shore Coalition Against Domestic Violence

  • Hotline number: 757-787-1329
  • Offers: an emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis hotline, individual counseling, safety planning, children’s services, legal advocacy, accompaniment during hospital visits and court appearances and support groups to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Website: 

National Domestic Violence Hotline1−800−799−7233

Virginia Domestic Abuse Hotline1-800-838-8238

About 11 million women and 5 million men who reported experiencing sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime said that they first experienced these forms of violence before the age of 18.

At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year and in 2018 nearly 1,770 children died of abuse and neglect in the United States, according to the CDC.

Prevent Child Abuse America – Coronavirus Resources & Tips for Parents, Children & Others.

Child abuse and neglect are serious problems that can have lasting harmful effects on its victims. For more information on preventing child abuse and neglect check out resources from the CDC or call The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 for help.

Stay with for more community updates.

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