OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Experts say children who are the victims of abuse are more likely to experience mental illness as adults.
According to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, nearly 13,000 cases of abuse or neglect are confirmed each year in Oklahoma. That number has worsened since the mid-1990s, with nearly 15 cases for every 1,000 children.
Almost 80 percent of cases involve neglect, which includes deprivation of basic survival needs, emotional absence and a lack of supervision or protection.
Dr. Barbara Bonner at the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center physical violence and emotional abuse are directly linked from children witnessing domestic violence, substance abuse and other types of home instability.
Depending on the duration and severity of abuse, Bonner says children can have a variety of long-term physical and emotional problems.