SW OK Residents Walk Against Child Abuse - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

SW OK Residents Walk Against Child Abuse

LAWTON Okla_ Nearly 50 southwest Oklahomans marched around the Comanche County Courthouse Monday to raise awareness about child abuse. April is child abuse awareness month.

Monday's walk is part of the first-ever National Million Man March Against Child Abuse, and over 200 cities across the United States participated in the march.

From June 2011 to June 2012, 148 children were removed from their abusive homes here in Comanche County. Advocates say that's just the tip of the iceberg, because those are only the cases that are reported. That's why the people at Monday's march say it's going to take the entire community to help educate the public on identifying cases and preventing this problem.

This group is on a mission: to put a stop to child abuse. Janet Chilson-Murrain, who organized Lawton's walk, said she decided to act after hearing the tragic story of baby Briana: a five-month-old girl whose life was cut short by her own mother's abuse.

"In New Mexico, this was years ago, she was severely abused throughout her whole life," Chilson-Murrain said. "She was five-months old when she was finally killed. I cried, and then I decided I've got to do something. Then, I heard about the march, and I said, ‘Okay, good place to start."

Advocates say unfortunately, stories like Briana's are all too common, and many victims do not get justice.

"A lot of that goes unreported, because of the shame," Marie Detty Executive Director Diane Owens said. "It's so crucial for those young people to get in the counseling help, because a lot of times, if you don't get help, you'll end up with issues the remainder of your life in relationships and how you parent your children."

"It's not being handled properly to me," said Lacey Hedrick, who's studying to become a children's counselor. "There are a lot of cases where they say there's no proof, but there is. Kids come up dying. The criteria they need is someone to tell what, when, why, who. A child is not going to tell you. So, therefore the DA's not going to do anything, and no charges are being pressed."

Chilson-Murrain said she considers Monday's march a success but said raising awareness about child abuse should be an every day priority.

"If you notice things, report them," Chilson-Murrain said. "Volunteer at your local community center, get involved with the infrastructure of your city, and do anything you can do to help your city and the families."

Chilson-Murrain said Oklahoma City and Tulsa also held their own marches. She said next year, she hopes to recruit more cities across the state to participate in the march.

The group said they not only want to raise awareness about child abuse; they also want stronger sentencing for violent crimes against children.

"We also want to hold our lawmakers accountable for providing stronger sentences," Chilson-Murrain said. "I think we also should hold them accountable to providing funding for programs like Marie Detty, because without the programs, I really don't know what a lot of families and youth will do."

Lacey Hedrick, who attended Monday's march, said she is working with senator Randy Bass on a bill aimed at tougher punishments for child abusers.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • After school shooting, Florida leaders propose new gun laws

    After school shooting, Florida leaders propose new gun laws

    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:34 PM EST2018-02-23 04:34:46 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 4:58 PM EST2018-02-23 21:58:43 GMT
    (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect,...

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect, other issues.

  • 2nd Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

    2nd Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

    Friday, February 23 2018 5:34 AM EST2018-02-23 10:34:42 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 4:58 PM EST2018-02-23 21:58:10 GMT
    (AP Photo/Michael Sohn). Driver Nadezhda Sergeeva and Anastasia Kocherzhova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia take a curve in their third heat during the women's two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, ...(AP Photo/Michael Sohn). Driver Nadezhda Sergeeva and Anastasia Kocherzhova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia take a curve in their third heat during the women's two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, ...

    A second Russian athlete has failed a doping test at the Pyeongchang Games, a day before the International Olympic Committee's executive board is to decide whether to reinstate the country for Sunday's closing...

    A second Russian athlete has failed a doping test at the Pyeongchang Games, a day before the International Olympic Committee's executive board is to decide whether to reinstate the country for Sunday's closing ceremony.

  • Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

    Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

    Friday, February 23 2018 12:14 AM EST2018-02-23 05:14:34 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 4:57 PM EST2018-02-23 21:57:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - in this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Rick Gates departs Federal District Court in Washington. In a dramatic escalation of pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - in this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Rick Gates departs Federal District Court in Washington. In a dramatic escalation of pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday...

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed additional criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed additional criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

Powered by Frankly