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
  • Just say no to 12-year-old’s Mohawk

    A mom recently asked me what I would say to my son if he was 12 years old and wanted a Mohawk haircut for the summer. I told her I’d say no. “But is it really that big a deal?” she said....

    August 1, 2014

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam set

    Norman residents will serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the homeless from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Andrew’s Park, 201 W. Daws St. A pop-up store also will distribute donations of new and gently used books, clothing, shoes, ...

    August 1, 2014

  • CCFI announces play therapy course

    Center for Children and Families will present the course Fundamentals of Non-Directive Play Therapy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8 at Sarkeys Foundation, 520 E. Main St....

    August 1, 2014

  • Recent weather has been surprising

    Earlier this July, a dense cold front slipped into the central section of the Southwest — including Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and bordering states — dropping daytime temperature highs into the upper 60s and 70s, which I believe is an ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Are you a puppet or a prince?

    Names have power. This cautionary statement is frequently found in fantasy novels populated by magical beings. The implication being that you should choose your friends and enemies wisely....

    August 1, 2014

  • Crafter’s emporium planned Saturday

    Members of the Opal District Crafter’s Emporium, plus other local artists, will have an art show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E. Robinson St. in Norman. It will be hosted concurrently with the ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Williams book signing event set

    Jared Williams, a resident of Moore, will sign copies of his book “Cerebral” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings, 2300 W. Main St. Norman....

    July 31, 2014

  • Home dedication set Sunday

    Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity will host a dedication of the Ruvalcaba family home from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at 618 E. Apache St. Those attending are asked to bring a pantry item to help the family begin life in their new home. ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Two territorial littermate cats are asserting social dominance

    Dear Dr. Fox: When we decided to get a cat 10 years ago, I thought getting a couple of littermates would work well. They got along during the first couple of years, often sleeping together and grooming each other. As they matured, though, ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014