This is something of a community learning series on this issue of sexual assault, partner homicides and interpersonal violence at all time highs in Oklahoma City. This article is about communications, from some different perspectives which intertwine with this problem. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=word%20up Better communication information here includes some basics, some review and a community rally at the Oklahoma Capitol.
Prior articles by this writer on other tracks have covered the issues of communications particular to reporting crime. In a nutshell, it seems there is a problem, (in the absence of a national standard of reporting sexual assault) there is a problem for the crime to be accurately documented with little or no re-traumatization of the victim or reporting party. http://yeahstub.com/article/potus-reveals-sex-assault-report-here-are-24-more-things-to-consider
Broadly, this right answer to proper reporting and proper services is called trauma informed care, or a trauma informed response, which was covered in the last article. Does OKC have this, in it’s purest, truest form? Does every person reporting a crime have this cadillac ride. It is a style of response that is respectful to the reporting party and/or victim and provides supports naturally accessible from the point of report. So the style of report allows the best collection of information from multiple tested, caring methods. There is typically instantly medical care from a trained provider, and accompaniment by a trained professional to aid with the report, getting a proper set of ongoing care services which include going to court, case management and getting any resources in housing or such following the problem.
Proper trauma informed care includes the actions of sexual assault center supports and law enforcement, medical personnel, counseling personnel, benefits workers and court staff. In most cities, to prevent bias, sexual assault centers have no affiliation with anything that might cause possible bias. OKC services are provided by the YWCA, which serves both domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who are older teens and adults. http://www.ywca.org/site/c.cuIRJ7NTKrLaG/b.7515807/k.2737/YWCA__Eliminating_Racism_Empowering_Women.htm
CCAN, The Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, is affiliated with the University of Oklahoma, but is not the primary source for first response, though it has the most professionally degreed staff and access to advanced medical care and advanced psychiatric and mental health, acute stress or ptsd care. .http://www.oumedicine.com/pediatrics/department-sections/developmental-behavioral-pediatrics/center-on-child-abuse-and-neglect. Bethesda provides a similar service in Norman. http://www.bethesdaok.org/ with lesser medical report. But both of these youth services are only allowed after police or cps response, and no service offers as a package deal: counseling, case management and accompaniment and advocacy for youth under 18 and their families during the investigative processes.
The Care Center is the OKC preferred provider service by OKCPD. http://carecenter-okc.org/
Legal services are not paid for for the victim through any of these listed services, despite the complexity that can accompany even initial reporting in current systems. It is an odd thought that a crime victim would need an attorney merely to report a crime.
Proper and accurate documentation of a report of the crime is a core issue, because failing to properly document the report can cause a train wreck of over response or more often under response to the problems experienced second to the sex assault.
Prior other articles by this writer have also looked at the issue of failed alerts in a crisis, and that there are fatal errors from inception in significant reporting systems such as the Amber Alert and Missing Kids and that HHS/CPS kids in foster care, or at facilities in USDOJJTP might be less likely to be documented as missing or injured and their biologic families, if still involved, might not be notified of any of this.
Each one of these failures to report or provide a full ride of trauma informed care, failure to respond and failure to alert dilutes bonds in communities. It weakens the city, and the citizens. It puts visitors at risk.
But what else is there that OKC communities are doing on this issue of communicating risk, danger or prevention?
This recent report of alleged multiple criminal acts from an OKCPD patrolman against 8 women from a NE Oklahoma City neighborhood known for some degree of working poor families and indigents is concerning. It is no less concerning that there has been some implication that these women, some of whom were sex workers were either not believed or not provided with trauma informed care as a first response, and thereby it appears multiple incidents.
+++++++++The Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma http://nacok.org/ rolled out the red carpet on a locally owned private service called “Notify Everything” http://notifyeverything.com/. At a NACOK Leadership workshop, a couple of years ago this service developed by a couple of businessmen from the Windsor Hills Shopping Center area was introduced as one designed to allow people in a committed circle to pay a fee ( of about $4 at inception) and exchange via email, landline phone, and/or cellphone any set of information they wished to at will.
This service allows people on a designated topic, or in a certain subscribed group to get alerts for danger, business specials, community events, celebrations or achievements etc. In order to subscribe, neighbors must be under a contract at 80% of their organization participating and a minimum number of subscribers per account. One could be in more than one circle under this group, or subscribe by choice to a menu of other accounts like political campaigns or say polling for larger community questions.
This service is privately held, and therefore combined with the fee and the group subscription rules would eliminate a good bit of OKC, due to the issues of poverty, working poor or people simply not having a phone service consistently under one carrier or limited or no access to electronics. What about ELL or people who speak no English whatsoever? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-language_learner Oklahoma’s primary second language is Spanish, as is most of the United States. http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–xJBgC8w2– /c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/ezoq1lphxesufz1bvxpi.png And close after that is Vietnamese http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–O0Z_h-7a–/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/xzuekwzrhh2pdr9kpept.png
What about people who simply never use the internet, a cellphone or such? Then what? Or better yet, these women were in this OKCPD complaint, were “older” how much of OKC population is slated to get older? Will there be more victimization of the “older” female? They will have more needs? Page 8 shows what the numbers look like. http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/livable-communities/plan/planning/oklahoma-state-plan-on-aging-2011-2014-aarp.pdf What would they want to happen with this issue of communication? What do they need? What help, what resources beyond really great trauma informed care?
OKC broad alerts come in the form of air-raid siren systems for tornadoes, which of course are common in here, though they typically only hit certain parts of the city directly. OKC doesn’t have a dial to your house system ( that has been announced) like that reverse 911 system used in the Boston Marathon Bomber situation, where everyone’s house called in an area alerting to creeping of the brothers responsible. Those sketchy shady moves were monitored by inbound calls to homes, with instructions to “Shelter in Place”. OKC has that? And how much does it cost to deploy it? Or is it like Amber Alerts, and only certain very specific situations allow the use, for certain populations, and certain time frames?
If a working poor community wanted to have a funded supported service of alerts would NACOK help them? The neighborhood recruitment specialist Ashley Dickson is the community contact, who has worked very hard to provide much of this area with networking options, could this be something that a grant could be obtained for? firstname.lastname@example.org
Or should OKC be providing some other answer. Who determines the sentinel events, and what alerts are available to all the public? yeahstub.com/article/okc-sexual-assault-response-risk-management-is-…
But get this, what if that high risk area had been notified by any system, phones, door to door, or email or note home from school calling the question early about a possible risk of a uniformed predator. Would there be 7 fewer victims if there was a free system of public notification? Or an immediately applied education campaign? Remember OKC does not teach sex education in schools, does not teach discernment, does not have an Erin’s Law and does not offer broad community prevention classes, like no hate crimes, better boundaries, respect and anger management.
Please recall the alleged aggressor on the 8 is identified as the paid, designated, reportedly trained responding party.
The Rally at the Oklahoma Capitol on 23rd and North Lincoln Boulevard is sponsored primarily by the Society to Protect Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Treaties https://www.facebook.com/OKSPIRIT and Anonymous though there are many other groups hosting. This free rally does not require a ticket or any pre-registration, but one can sign up on FB for this and any other informational announcements. This will be at the Oklahoma City Capitol, Friday, 26 September, from 10 am until 4 pm https://www.facebook.com/events/273597516179186/. This is free and open to the public. People from OKC are expected, but people from other states plan to come and share in this request for better law enforcement training and response.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is the only noted invited official who has not made plans to attend, sending her regrets second to a previous engagement. This on the heels of some other community stressors between the Fallin family and the Native American community
This series continues thru the end of September. It began when this writer approached the Oklahoma City Council regarding known problems in the OKC sexual assault continuum, highlighted by the sexualized assaults and rapes connected to 8 African American women reporting an OKCPD patrolman.Mayor Mick Cornett noted he was unsure of his or the Oklahoma City Council role over the issue of sexual assaults, or any services related and the City Attorney would check this out and provide a report to the Council. that was August 26th. http://yeahstub.com/article/shade-no-shade-okc-councilors-to-receive-handout-on-sexual-assault-continuum