The Child Abuse Network describes what it does to help kids who go through unimaginable trauma.
“We don’t want a child to continue to have to talk about it over and over again,” said Rose Turner.
The trauma is hard enough to imagine, let alone recounting the horrific details to strangers.
“DHS has to determine ‘is this child safe in the home?’ or ‘what can be done to keep this child safe?’” Turner said. “Law enforcement looks at ‘is there a crime that has happened?’”
Instead of the cold, sterile environment at police stations and government buildings, the Child Advocacy Center is all about children.
“This is the point to stop the hurt and start the healing,” stated Turner.
But that healing can’t start until authorities know what innocent children have been going through.
“It doesn’t matter what the abuse is, that child still loves and cares for their parent. They don’t want what is happening to continue, so that’s why we may run into barriers of what types of information they may disclose,” said Turner.
Last year, the Child Abuse Network provided services to more than 2,100 children, like forensic interviews, medical evaluations, mental health services, and case management.
Turner says research shows one supportive person makes all the difference.
She says, “you need individuals who will help you process through that so that the narrative and those thoughts in your mind are not of the horror and destruction, but that there’s hope and healing.”
The Child Abuse Network in Tulsa was built to see 40 kids a month, but it sees about 40 kids a week – a startling statistic that shows just how often child abuse is happening in our own community.