The Norman Transcript


October 6, 2013

Norman nonprofit gives victims of child abuse a voice

NORMAN — Child abuse is not a modern phenomena, but it’s one that has come out of the shadows of ignorance and denial in recent times.

Organized facilities for children’s advocacy such as Mary Abbott Children’s House in downtown Norman have been instrumental in that change.

“Working with a multi-disciplinary team as closely as we do is a really uplifting experience,” Executive Director Clint Williams said. “It’s a joy to watch all the professionals bring their areas of expertise to the table as we work on these cases.”

The team he refers to includes law enforcement, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, mental health care providers, medical professionals, family advocates and forensic interviewers. They’re the ones involved when suspected instances of child abuse come to light.

At the request of law enforcement or DHS Child Protective Services, the Mary Abbott House provides highly trained forensic interviewers to speak with possible victims or witnesses of abuse. This is accomplished in a child-friendly, non-judgmental manner.

Mary Abbott House also provides medical assessments and educational outreach about child abuse detection and prevention to the community.

“Some people have the misconception that the House is a residential center,” Williams said. “We’re very much a point-in-time service. The children are only here a couple of hours and then usually we never see them again. The work goes on long after the kids leave here, however.”

From the Mary Abbott House, case work associated with what’s learned from the children continues in other venues. Mental health counseling is common and readily available in Norman. Legal proceedings often are involved.

“One of the satisfactions of this job is when we get together once a month for our case staffing and hear about the children after they’ve left here,” he said. “And we hear about them continuing on that path of healing. It’s rewarding to know that counseling progress has been made, even though we don’t see it physically here at the House.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Parents urged to research ADHD

    Q: Our son has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and we have been told he may need social skills training. He is in third grade, and this is all very new and foreign. Do you know anything about this training, and what does this mean for his ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Eggspectations

    You may or may not be aware that for many people Easter Sunday is a greater and more important event than Christmas Day. On Easter Sunday the purpose which began with His birth, celebrated on Christmas Day, was fulfilled. Nevertheless, in ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Biting protocol for puppies

    Dear Dr. Fox: My puppy really likes to chew on my hand when I pet him. I am afraid he might get more aggressive when he gets older. His sharp teeth hurt, and sometimes he runs at me and jumps up to paw me. I push him away, but he comes ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Norman volunteer recognized for work at Veterans Corner

    Each week, we recognize a volunteer who makes that extra effort to assure that a veteran or surviving spouse receives VA benefits. Shirley Clark-Cowdin has been with us four years. During that time, she and her crew of ladies have helped ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Here is how reverse mortgages operate nowadays

    Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about reverse mortgages? I was considering one last year, but now I hear they are more difficult to get....

    April 15, 2014

  • Annual Norman Iris Show set at library

    A tradition of the Norman Area Iris Society and Norman Public Library returns this spring with the annual Norman Iris Show from 1 to 4 p.m. April 27 in the Lowry Room of the library, 225 N. Webster Ave....

    April 15, 2014

  • Allan Oehlschlager, family celebrating 100-year milestone

    From Kansas City to Norman with stops in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Yale, Oklahoma City and Edmond — looking back as he prepared to mark his 100th birthday today, Allan Oehlschlager termed it a “glorious ride.” Born April 13, 1914, in ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Single parents to be honored

    Five Oklahoma single parents and two adult children of single parents will be honored with awards at the Single Parent Support Network black tie fundraiser, “An Enchanted Evening,” on April 29 at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Dreams for the next 14 years

    On Monday I’ll be the proud aunt of a 14-year-old niece. For 14 years, I’ve had the chance to get used to her being 14 someday, and I’m still not there. Maybe in another 14 years, I’ll realize that she’s not a baby anymore....

    April 13, 2014

  • Midwest City reunions set

    Midwest City High School class reunions for 1970 to 1979 will be hosted in June at the Midwest City Community Center....

    April 13, 2014