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Community Health Improvement Plan - Violence

Based on community input the prevention of Violence is one of five priority areas selected for the 2015 Community Health Improvement Plan. These areas will be the focus for community health improvement efforts for the next five years. 

The Comanche County DMC Coalition will serve as the work group for this priority area. The Comanche County DMC Coalition has created a plan to reduce violence in the community with a specific focus on youth violence. The coalition meets on a monthly basis. Meetings are typically held on the fourth Thursday of the month at noon at the Lawton Housing Authority. For more information on how you can help and become involved, please contact William White at (580) 917-1151 or email whitewj77@sbcglobal.net.

2010-2015 Information

Violence is a unique factor in health outcomes in that the mere perception of a violent community or neighborhood can impact its health. In addition to the stress and strain associated with the fear for personal and family safety, a parent’s perception of an unsafe neighborhood may limit the outdoor activity of their children. The healthy utilization of parks and outdoor recreation may give way to indoor, more sedentary activities that ultimately contribute to poor health outcomes.

So, while there is much debate over the severity of the violence rates in Comanche County, there is little question that residents perceive there to be a problem, and that alone is sufficient to adversely affect health. To demonstrate this point, consider that county respondents to the 2010 Community Health Survey identified gang violence as the most commonly reported community health risk, while at the same time only 1.9% of the respondents reported anyone in their household experiencing gang-related violence.  In a related result, more than 50% of middle school respondents to the 2010 Lawton Middle School Survey believe that Comanche County is not a safe place to live. Additionally, these middle school students listed gang violence as their  #1 health risk.

It is also important to note that domestic violence, child abuse, and suicide are all critical indicators of a healthy community. The 2010 State of the County Health Report listed suicide as the 5th leading cause of death for ages 15-24. At the same time, 34.1% of respondents reported Comanche County was not a safe place to raise children (2010 Community Health Survey).  The 2014 Comanche County Profile is linked here: 2014 Comanche County Health Profile.

So, regardless of individual perspectives on violence in Comanche County, the issue of violence warrants the attention of committed citizens. We cannot afford to raise a generation of children who fear for their safety, whether it is fear of the streets, or fear from within the home. We must commit to establishing a safe community.

The 2010 State of the County’s Health Report lists the following facts related to violence in Comanche County:
• Suicide was the 5th leading cause of death 5-14.
• Suicide and Homicide were the 2nd and 3rd leading causes of death 15-24.
• Suicide and Homicide were the 2nd and 5th leading causes of death 25-34.
• Suicide and Homicide were the 4th and 5th leading causes of death 35-44.
• Suicide and Homicide were the 5th and 9th leading causes of death 45-54.

The Violence Work Group had two objectives:
By 2015, reduce the number of crimes reported annually by 10%.

   Met- Current number of crimes reported for 2013- 4,903

By 2015, reduce the number of confirmed child abuse/neglect cases annually by 10%.

   Unmet- Current number of confirmed cases- 391

The group had seven strategies.  Outcomes reported as below:

♦♦♦ ♦♦
Completed All Selected Activities Completed half Selected Activities Completed Less than half  Activities

Strategy 1:  Enhance violence education in the community - ♦♦♦
Strategy 2:  Increase and maximize community resources - ♦♦♦
Strategy 3:  Enhance state Juvenile Justice System - ♦♦♦
Strategy 4:  Enhance and expand community programs - ♦♦
Strategy 5:  Increase domestic violence awareness and education -

Strategy 6:  Influence media outreach - ♦♦♦
Strategy 7:  Provide support for adult stability - ♦♦

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