BOISE, Idaho — This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press.
On Saturday, children paraded down the streets of Caldwell in support of the eighth annual Superhero Walk, which seeks to draw awareness to child abuse prevention.
The kids walked to the sound of bagpipes playing while sporting their Batman, Superman and Captain America costumes.
More than 100 people set off from the Caldwell Police Department, many of them dressed in blue and superhero costumes, and ended at the Canyon County Courthouse.
"These children are not only the next generation, but they're most vulnerable right now," said Detective Cheryl Wendell of the Caldwell Police.
Wendell said that this event hopefully will prevent abuse before it starts by spreading awareness of how to get help, who to talk to and what to do if someone is being abused.
"This is hopefully making everybody aware that we need to talk about it. Don't hide it and deal with it," she said.
The event was spearheaded by the Canyon County Family Justice Center as a collaborative effort with local police and the regional prosecutor's office.
Jennifer Perry, project manager for the family justice center, said that because the month of April is child abuse prevention month, it is a great way to show up to support prevention efforts.
"We just want everyone out here to be a superhero for the children in our community. If they are concerned about child abuse, speak up and say something," Perry said.
April Auker, a supporter in attendance, said that while child abuse prevention is important, mental health also plays a huge role in the matter.
"We just want to make sure that we are here supporting children and then promoting mental health and mental health awareness so that we can help people work through some of the things that create situations of child abuse," Auker said.
At the courthouse, children participated in an Easter egg hunt and planted their bright blue pinwheels.
Bryan Taylor, Canyon County prosecutor, told the crowd it's important to have discussions about child abuse and how to recognize it.
"Unfortunately, it happens too often and too much around this community and elsewhere," Taylor said. "I think it's important for us to talk about the real superheroes. Those are the children, the children that are victims, children that are survivors of child abuse, the ones who come forward to tell they are being abused so they can be helped."
This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.
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