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Posted: Apr 05, 2024 9:37 AMUpdated: Apr 05, 2024 9:37 AM

City, County Declare April as 'Child Abuse Prevention Month'

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Nathan Thompson

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. In recognition, Ray of Hope Advocacy Center has planted 391 pinwheels outside their building. Each pinwheel represents a confirmed victim of child abuse in the areas that Ray of Hope served during 2023.

This month and throughout the year, Ray of Hope Advocacy Center encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Bartlesville a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote the social and emotional well-being of children and youth and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities. 

The Washington County Commissioners and the Bartlesville City Council have each proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Bartlesville.

“We are glad that our community has declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month,” said Champagne Kane, Ray of Hope board president. “Child abuse is an uncomfortable topic for most adults. At Ray of Hope, we believe that we all have a shared responsibility to keep children and families safe. Families and communities need to work together to prevent child abuse and neglect, and we are proud to do that here in Bartlesville.”

Protective factors are the strengths and resources families draw on during difficult times to shield them from life’s stresses. Research shows that when parents possess protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminishes, and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. Major protective factors include knowledge of parenting, knowledge of child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete support.  

“The numbers can feel overwhelming when you think about our tight-knit communities, and we know that child abuse can have a lasting impact on children, families, and the community.” Rhonda Hudson, executive director of Ray of Hope, said. “Research has shown that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are strongly linked to a wide range of health and social problems in adulthood. However, it’s essential to recognize that recovery and healing are possible. When children’s stories come to light, it creates an opportunity for them to access the resources and support they need for healing and HOPE.”

Hudson adds that in Oklahoma, every adult is a mandated child abuse reporter and urges anyone who suspects abuse or neglect to call the Oklahoma Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.

Ray of Hope has a photo backdrop and activity table at the Bartlesville Public Library. Each child can draw a picture of what it means to be the “boss of their body.” Each drawing submitted will give the child the chance to win a new bike from Ray of Hope! Kids can also identify their 3 G’s (three grown-ups) whom they can talk to if they feel unsafe, worried, or scared. There’s a take-and-make pinwheel and a backdrop for family photos. We’re grateful to partner with the Bartlesville Public Library this year in raising awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Ray of Hope is a multi-service organization that is committed to helping adult and child survivors and their families find the services they need in one place to recover from child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence, and stalking. Their mission is to facilitate a coordinated community response and to provide hope and support to children and families impacted by abuse.

For more information about Child Abuse Prevention Month or Ray of Hope Advocacy Center, visit To report concern for a child, please call the OKDHS Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.

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