Tahlequah Daily Press

Archive

July 6, 2007

Oklahoma first in deaths of abused children

Despite raised awareness of child abuse over the past 20 to 30 years, the fact are still difficult for many people to fathom.

“It never going to be a good, over-the-dinner-table discussion,” said Jo Prout, executive director for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cherokee Country. “I think it’s a telling commentary on our society when we can’t take care of our children. As they say, the children are our future, and we should do everything within our power to take care of that future. No child deserves to live in fear.”

Many area residents may be surprised to learn Oklahoma ranks first, per capita, in deaths of children caused by child abuse. According to a new report by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, from October 2004 through September 2004, 41 children died from abuse or neglect, giving Oklahoma a rate of 4.8 deaths per 100,000 children. The national rate is 1.96 deaths per 100,000 children.

Prout found the number alarming, and hopes it will prompt area residents to become more active in prevention measures.

According to the agency’s statistics for the 2006 calendar year, CASA of Cherokee Country assisted 95 children, 80 of whom were Native American.

“Since January 2007, we have assisted 86 children, 72 of whom are Native American,” said Prout. “Either way you look at it, about 76 percent of the children we’re involved with are Native American, a number that’s grown exponentially since I began working with CASA.”

Prout believes the higher number could be due to the high Native American population in the area, or that Native Americans could be less wary about reporting abuse than in previous years.

Of all the Native American tribes in the United States, only nine have tribal CASA agencies.

“We are ranked the largest of those nine, with the second-largest being the Creek tribal CASA, which works out of Okmulgee county,” said Prout.

Text Only
Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Stocks