Fisher rallies county against child abuse

Robert Smith
First Assistant District Attorney Michelle Keely places pinwheels on the Osage County Courthouse lawn Monday during a ceremony held to draw attention to National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Robert Smith/Journal-Capital

Osage County District Attorney Mike Fisher on Monday afternoon led a Pinwheel Project ceremony outside the courthouse in Pawhuska intended to help draw attention to the problem of child abuse.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The ceremony Fisher organized and led involved the placement of blue pinwheels on the courthouse lawn. Law enforcement personnel and educators attended the event along with county officials.

“The pinwheels are representative of children and reminders that we need to be involved,” Fisher said. He shared statistics he had found regarding child abuse in the U.S. According to the numbers he shared, more than 80% of child abuse is committed by the victim’s mother, father or both parents together.

“That is a staggering number,” he said. He also noted that approximately 30% of abused children grow up to abuse their children.

“It’s a cycle,” Fisher said, adding that the scourge of child abuse isn’t concentrated in rich communities or poor ones, and that other demographic categories such as race have no bearing on where it occurs.

“We’re the ones on the front line; we need to fight this battle,” he said. “Keep the little ones in your prayers, please.”

The event in Pawhuska was one of two that Fisher had planned for this week. He also organized a Pinwheel Project event in Pawnee, the county seat of Pawnee County. He is district attorney for both Osage and Pawnee counties.

In other news concerning the district attorney’s office, Fisher said Monday that he plans to make increasing use of community sentencing as a means of involving the local community in attempts to provide more effective oversight for probationers. He said that he views community sentencing as a tool available to judges that gives the local court more of a direct role in holding offenders accountable.