We must do better for our children
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and this week, Parent Promise, the Oklahoma City Exchange Clubs and other child advocates conducted their annual Field of Flags ceremony. This special and heartbreaking ceremony helps increase awareness of child abuse in our state and nation. It also advocates for continued investment by public citizens and the legislature in child abuse prevention programs.
More than 1,400 U.S. flags and 42 Oklahoma flags were placed around the grounds signifying the young lives lost in 2016 to abuse or neglect. While there were less Oklahoma flags this year (down from 60 last year), one child’s life lost at the hands of another is too many.
According to the non-profit Every Child Matters Education Fund (ECM), in the last decade, it’s estimated that more than 20,000 American children have been killed in their own homes by family members, which is nearly four times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The death rate of U.S. children due to neglect or abuse is three times that of Canada’s and eleven times that of Italy.
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