For Release – March 27, 2019 – Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), along with its community partners, are working to raise awareness about the importance of ensuring great childhoods for all Oklahoma children. Organizations across the state are working together to host events demonstrating their commitment to preventing child abuse.
Thousands of Oklahoma children suffer abuse and neglect each year. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Human Services, there were 15,951 substantiated child abuse and neglect victims in Oklahoma (SFY 2018), an increase from last year. Oklahoma County alone had 2,821 confirmed cases.
Sherie Trice is the community child abuse prevention grant coordinator with the OSDH. She said the statistics serve as a reminder that every possible effort should be made in preventing child abuse in Oklahoma.
“We encourage every citizen to ‘do one thing’ when it comes to protecting children and strengthening families,” said Trice. “Even small gestures like being kind and supportive to parents challenged in public and/or assisting parents by offering help such as reading a book to a child in the waiting room or providing an extra set of hands at the supermarket and also offering respite before families experience crisis. These efforts are instrumental in helping families reduce stress and just make life a little easier.”
There are numerous events and activities across the state to support National Child Abuse Prevention Month:
For additional information about child abuse prevention or how to get involved with other activities in your community, contact a local county health department or Sherie Trice at (405) 271-7611.