Stillwater News Press

Opinion

April 5, 2014

OUR VIEW: Stillwater agencies deserve your support

STILLWATER, Okla. — It’s difficult to image child abuse or neglect happening in Payne County. Yet, it happens here more often than we’d like to think. According to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, 157 child abuse or neglect cases were substantiated in Payne County in 2012.

Substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect were reported in 2012 in surrounding counties as well. Here’s the breakdown:

Noble: 37

Pawnee: 40

Creek: 217

Lincoln: 112

Logan: 99

Garfield: 93

According to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, 9,842 substantiated child abuse or neglect cases were reported statewide in 2012.

April is national child abuse prevention month.

Child abuse can include:

Physical abuse: Non-accidental physical injury to a child.

Neglect: Failure to provide food, clothing shelter, medical care, supervision or special care.

Sexual abuse or exploitation: Rape, incest, lewd or indecent acts or proposal and allowing, permuting a child to engage in prostitution or pornography.

Emotional abuse: Mental injury from incessant rejecting, terrorizing, isolating, exploiting, corrupting or denying emotional responsiveness.

Here are 10 things you can do to prevent child abuse:

1. Get involved with other parents or child abuse prevention groups in your community.

2. Never discipline your child when you are upset.

3. Examine your behavior. Abuse can be mental as well as physical.

4. Education: Simple support for children and parents is the best way to prevent abuse.

5. Teach your children they are special and have the right to be safe.

6. Support program designed to stop abuse before it happens.

7. Know what child abuse is.

8. Unexplained injuries aren’t the only signs of abuse. Depression, fear of a certain adult, difficulty trusting others or making friends can be signs of abuse.

9. If you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of abuse, make a report to child protective services or local police.

10. Encourage leaders in the community to be supportive and children and families.

Several Payne County agencies — The Saville Center, Payne County Youth Services and Payne County Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children — all focus on helping abused and neglecting children. They deserve your support.

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