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Protecting Our Children

How Three of Tulsa’s Community Agencies Work Together to Prevent, Investigate and Heal Child Abuse

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Nancy (name has been changed to protect her privacy), a 54-year-old grandmother, wishes such agencies as The Parent Child Center, Child Abuse Network (CAN) and Family & Children’s Services were around when she was a child. “I was abused physically and sexually from the time I was three,” Nancy said. “My sisters were as well.” Nancy’s perpetrator, her own father, told her never to tell or she’d be sent to “a worse place.”

Today, Nancy tells her story in support of agencies working to prevent and treat child abuse in hopes that other children will be spared the pain and trauma she suffered.

According to data from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, children who suffered physical or emotional abuse in Oklahoma has increased for three consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, 11,418 children were abused or neglected compared with 7,248 in 2010. In contrast, child abuse and neglect has dropped across the United States.

In Tulsa County, one in every 25 children is affected, and those statistics come from just those that are reported. Child abuse and neglect crosses all socio-economic, religious and ethnic boundaries.

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