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July 3, 2014

OKC author protects kids through awareness

DUNCAN — Rodney Timms is on a 77 county tour to end child abuse.

Timms, a child abuse survivor, travels across Oklahoma to raise awareness of child abuse and its effects.

 Timms  stopped in Duncan at the Stephens County Courthouse at noon on Wednesday.

“Most of the kids that go through child abuse do not survive, or they wind up doing it themselves,” said Smith. “People need to wake up to the fact that we need to protect our kids. People don’t seem to understand that, so I am out here trying to make sure that they do. Having gone through it myself, I know what it is like. It’s tragic.”

The survivor is now a successful author, speaker and owner of a truck company out of Oklahoma City. He feels lucky to have turned his life around, Timms said.

“There are about 12 million cases of child abuse in this country a year,” said Timms. “Only a third of those are ever reported. Less than one percent of these cases make it to court. We need to make changes. We have got to protect our kids. It is our duty.”

Timms provided vistitors with a copy of his novel “My 3 Angels.” The book details his feelings while experiencing child abuse from his father.

“I wrote this book for people to not only get an idea of child abuse but to also feel it,” said Timms. “It describes in detail about some of the things I went through. It is a very tragic story. I cannot sit down and read it. When I read it, I have to relive it.”

The author plans to publish another novel in the next few months. Titled “Contract Killer,” the book explores the effects of child abuse, said Timms.

“When I was 15, my dad almost beat me to death,” he said. “It brought out a rage in me. At the age of 17, I wanted to be a contract killer. I wanted to kill somebody. I thought someone should have died for what I went through. When children grow up and become teenagers, it becomes worse.”

Timms and his truck visit the courthouse in each county to show where child abuse cases will end up if not stopped.

“We like to let the law enforcement know what we are doing,” he said. “We want people to know if you don’t protect your kids, they will have to deal with law enforcement and end up in courthouses or the county jail.”

To end child abuse, Timms plans to inspire a new bill. While a judge currently decides who a child will live with, Timms hopes to see a three member panel of child experts replace this system.

“Back when I was a kid, they did not have a child abuse law,” he said. “The first child abuse cases were tried under cruelty to animal law. We had those laws in place to protect animals before children. We need to make our laws tougher.”

John Smith, the undersheriff of Stephens County, said he is thankful to have Timms visit and spread awareness of an important issue.

“This might help people identify cases of child abuse,” said Smith. “Our sheriff’s office is pretty aggressive. We’ve been pretty effective over the past few years. Based on the statisitcs (Timms) threw out, we are not where we need to be, but we are moving forward here.”

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Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson talks during Wednesday's Duncan Rotary meeting.

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