Organizations seek training on how to report abuse

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 10/09/2012 5:17 pm Published: 10/09/2012 3:36 pm

Media coverage of the Penn State scandal, as well as the most recent one at Victory Christian Center has many local organizations re-evaluating how they report abuse.

Emergency Infant Services has been serving families in the Tulsa community for 35 years. Because staff and volunteers deal with children on a daily basis, they’re trained to spot signs of child abuse.

“We work with social workers and we work with the Parent Child Center and if it's something illegal, then our first call would be to Child Protective Services," says EIS executive director, Tom Taylor.

After the Penn State and Victory Christian arrests, EIS is taking action by focusing part of their November training on that topic.

"Some of them are domestic violence cases themselves, and so then we peel back the onion if you will and say what's going on with the children and how have they been affected?,” says Taylor.

The Tulsa Police Department’s Child Crisis Unit handles over 1,000 cases a year, but not all are criminal in nature.

“Particularly since Victory, I know there have been a lot of requests for some training or at least a presentation on child abuse, signs and reporting it,” says Cpl. Greg Smith.

In the state of Oklahoma, any person who has reason to believe a child is being abused, is required by law to promptly report it, but sadly some don’t

“The people in the organization failed to take any action, and that's true at both Victory Christian and at Penn State,” says Smith.

Failure to report it is a misdemeanor and can earn you up to a year in jail. If you tell your boss about suspected child abuse and they tell you not to report it, they have violated the statute because it is illegal for them to prevent someone from reporting it.

If you would like more information on how to spot the signs of child sexual abuse, Eliot Elementary is hosting a free presentation for parents and caregivers on preventing child sexual abuse. It will be held Thursday, October 11th and it starts at 7:00. The presentation is for adults only.

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