MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

April 13, 2013

Families key to prevention of abuse

— Cherokee Nation officials have the right idea to raise awareness of, and combat, child abuse and sexual assault.

Members of the Cherokee Nation government placed pinwheels around the tribal complex during a recent ceremony.

“They are pinwheels for prevention, a way to show our support for victims and let them know we are here to help,” said Principal Chief Bill John Baker.

Native Americans have the highest rate of sexual assault victims compared with any other racial group, said Cherokee Nation first lady Sherry Baker.

“Sexual assault is a complex and ongoing problem within our nation and society, affecting our own Cherokee families,” Sherry Baker said, reading from a tribal proclamation. “And every Cherokee citizen is entitled to be loved, respected, to feel secure, and to be free from verbal, sexual, emotional and physical abuse.”

The Cherokee Nation is committed to raising its children in healthy and loving homes, and prevention efforts are the best hope for reducing violence, Chief Baker said.

“The best way to do that is to support our families,” he said.

Baker and the Cherokee Nation are right.

The best way to prevent almost any of society’s problems is to support families.

Parents must raise their children in a loving, understanding and tolerant environment.

Children who grow up knowing they are loved are far more likely to have happy, productive lives.

Families support each other. They care for each other. They love each other.

They do not abuse each other.

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