'Paint Our Town Blue' brings awareness to child abuse

The playground at the Whaley Children's Center in Flint.

People dressed in blue on Friday to bring awareness to abuse that is often ignored.

Child abuse and neglect took 1,600 lives in 2012. The Paint Our Town Blue campaign is helping shed light on the issue in Mid-Michigan.

The Whaley Children's Center in Flint helps kids overcome abuse or neglect.

Jeffery Dennings is one father who adopted three children through Whaley. Dennings says his children are all blessings but they face many challenges.

"It's not something that just when they're out of that situation it's automatically over for them. The scares and wounds are there for a long time," said Jeffery Dennings.

Dave Matthews is the intake coordinator for the center. He sees a constant stream of cases come through his door and says the key is to catch abuse early and not look the other way.

"A lot of it comes out in school, like if a child comes to school and there are bruises on their bodies. If they are noticeably wearing the same cloths every day," said Dave Matthews.

If you see or suspect abuse, contact police or call the Department of Human Services.