Pinwheels are the national symbol of child abuse prevention. Charlottesville community members and leaders planted almost 50 of them Tuesday morning as a commitment to the cause.

"I have one that haunts me still to this day," said Charlottesville Lieutenant of Investigations Paul Davis.

Davis helped pioneer child advocacy groups in the early 1990s - but in all this time, there's still one case he can't forget.

"I know a young girl in this community was a victim of some serious abuse.  My investigation revealed that and what it also revealed - that there had been ongoing decades of females in this family," said Davis.

Davis was unable to prosecute, but holds on to the folder for this case in his fight to prevent another child from suffering the same fate.

Tuesday, Davis joined around 50 others to plant pinwheels outside the Children, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) Office as a pledge to prevent child abuse.

"The pinwheel symbolizes child abuse prevention, a life for children that's free from the stress from having to cope with abuse and the innocence of a child's life," said Shannon Noe, CYFS program manager.

The ceremony officially kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month in Charlottesville.

Several agencies are coming together for the cause.

"A lot of organizations work together year-round and it's a good time to celebrate those partnerships.  It's also a time to raise awareness for those who may not realize how prevalent child abuse is in our community," said Noe.    

They are working to end an issue Davis says can alter a child's life forever.

"Children at such a young age, they're so vulnerable with that innocence and trust, and once that's violated, they sometimes never get it back," said David.