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

Do you believe marijuana should be legalized in Oklahoma?

Absolutely not.
No, but it should be decriminalized.
Yes, but only for medicinal purposes.
Yes, both for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Stocks