Injury and Violence Prevention

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

—Mahatma Ghandi

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44, and a leading cause of disability for all age groups. Both unintentional injuries and injuries due to acts of violence are often preventable and predictable. Injuries and violence also have a significant impact on health by contributing to premature death, years of potential life lost, poor mental health, high medical costs and lost productivity, among other impacts. Injuries and violence can also affect family members, friends and larger communities. 

Injuries and violence can be influenced by individual behaviors such as alcohol and drug use, the physical environment such as roads, and the social environment such as social cohesion of a community.

Efforts to address unintentional injuries may focus on education and behavioral change, legislation and enforcement, and modifications of the environment.

Efforts to address violence may focus on changing social norms about the acceptability of violence, fostering safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for children and families, and changing policies to address the social and economic conditions that often give rise to violence (1).

Violent Crime

Definition

This indicator is defined as the number of violent crimes (homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) per 100,000 population in Tulsa County.


Why is this important?

Violent crime is a visible risk to health as it can result in premature death as well as poor mental health, disability, and high medical costs (1). Both physical and mental trauma can be experienced as a result of violent behavior. Violence can also have an affect on communities - it can reduce productivity, decrease property values and disrupt social services (2). Public health interventions that focus on social norms, relationships, community environments and societal-level factors can influence violent behaviors (1). 


How are we doing?

In 2018, there were a total of 4,977 violent crimes reported in Tulsa County, which is a rate of 774.3 violent crimes per 100,000 population. This was higher than both Oklahoma and the US. In fact, the violent crime rate in Tulsa County was almost double the rate in the US.  Tulsa County has been much higher than the US and Oklahoma since 2013.

Following sections detail rates for homicide and aggravated assault.


Homicide Mortality

Definition

The mortality rate from homicide (murder) is presented as the number of deaths from homicide per 100,000 population for the single year of 2018 and over the years 2016 – 2018. The rates were age-adjusted to account for differences in age distribution among locations, regions, zip codes and races/ethnicities. Rates were based on the residence of the victim; not the location of the crime.

Why is this indicator important?

In the U.S., there are significant disparities in homicide deaths by age, race/ethnicity and sex. The homicide rate is particularly high among young, black males (3). In Tulsa County from 2016-2018, homicide was the fourth leading cause of death, up from the fifth leading cause of death in black men in Tulsa County from 2014 - 2016. For Tulsa County overall, it was the 11th leading cause of death for the time period 2016 to 2018. 

How are we doing?

In 2018, Tulsa County had a homicide death rate of 10.4, which was higher than that of Oklahoma (7.0) and the United States (5.9). This trend has been true since 2011. Additionally, the homicide rate increased from 2011 to 2016, at which point it leveled off and began a decline to 2018.  The Healthy People 2020 national goal is to reduce the homicide death rate to 5.5 deaths per 100,000 population. None of these locations met this target in 2018.

From 2016–2018, 223 Tulsa County residents were victims of homicide, which is an age-adjusted death rate of 12.1 deaths per 100,000. There was clear racial disparity, with blacks dying from homicide at a rate about eight times that of whites (48.7 compared to 6.0). The homicide death rate for Hispanics was lower than for non-Hispanics (7.5 compared to 14.1).  These trends were true for Oklahoma overall, as well

In terms of homicide by region in Tulsa County, the region with the highest mortality rate due to homicide from 2016 to 2018 was the North Tulsa region, at 35.2 deaths per 100,000 population.  This rate was almost nine times higher than the rate for the region with the lowest homicide mortality rate (Jenks/Bixby at 4.0 deaths per 100,000), and almost 3 times higher than the rate for Tulsa County overall during the same time period.  There were not enough homicide deaths in the Downtown region for a rate to be reported during the time period.

The zip codes with the highest overall homicide death rates were 74106 (52.9 deaths per 100,000 and 74126 (45.1 deaths per 100,000).  Both of these zip codes were in the North Tulsa region.

Aggravated Assault 

Definition

This indicator is defined as the number of aggravated assaults per 100,000 population in Tulsa County. 

Why is this important?

Aggravated assault can have a profound impact on the victims affected. First, there is the immediate physical consequences which can vary in intensity depending on the assault. Second, there are long-term mental effects as a result of the assault. For instance, distrust of the world could be commonplace for the victim after the assault along with other mental damages such as paranoia of future attacks which negatively impact mental health (4). 

How are we doing?

In 2018, there were a total of 3,402 aggravated assaults reported in Tulsa County, which is a rate of 529.3 aggravated assaults per 100,000 population. This rate was much higher than both Oklahoma (337.5) and the US (250.0). In fact, the aggravated assault rate in Tulsa County was more than double the rate in the US. This trend has been consistent since 2012.

Firearm-related Mortality


Gun-related Deaths

Definition

This indicator is defined as the number of gun-related deaths per 100,000 population in Tulsa County. This can include intentional and unintentional deaths.

Why is this important?

Guns have the potential to increase violence, as they have the capacity to inflict serious or deadly injuries on many people in a short time. The effects of such an attack from a firearm can result in death or serious bodily harm, along with mental health issues such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. While gun violence can affect anyone, it has a disproportionate impact on young adults, males, and minority populations (5). 

How are we doing?

In 2018, Tulsa County had a gun-related death rate of 19.6 deaths per 100,000 population, which was higher than that of Oklahoma (16.9) and the United States (11.9). This trend has been true since 2011. 

From 2016–2018, 399 Tulsa County residents were killed by firearms, which is an age-adjusted death rate of 21.3 deaths per 100,000 individuals.  This was higher than the mortality rate for Oklahoma overall for the same time period, which was 17.5 deaths per 100,000.  

There was clear racial disparity on this indicator, for both Tulsa County and Oklahoma overall, with blacks dying from firearms at a rate almost double that of whites for Oklahoma overall  (31.7 compared to 16.4) and almost three times higher for Tulsa County (48.7 compared to 16.9). The homicide death rate for non-Hispanics was higher than Hispanics for both locations.  .

When examining gun-related mortality over time and by region, we find that since 2011-2013, gun-related deaths in Tulsa County have been highest in the North Tulsa region.  The graph below also illustrates that gun-related deaths have been increasing for the Midtown region.

The zip codes with the highest gun-related mortality were 74106 (51.9 deaths per 100,000) and 74126 (47.8 deaths per 100,000).  Both of these zip codes are in the North Tulsa region.

Families and Children


Child Maltreatment

Definition

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) assesses all accepted reports of alleged child abuse and neglect and, if necessary, investigates individuals responsible for the child’s care. Investigations are conducted when the report contains allegations of serious threats to the child’s safety, whereas assessments are conducted when the allegation of abuse or neglect does not constitute a serious or immediate threat to a child’s health or safety. This indicator is presented as the number of substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect per 1,000 children. Please note that these rates reflect a duplicated count of children confirmed to be victims of child abuse and neglect. This indicator is also presented as the number of child victims per 1,000 children (child victimization rate). Please note that these rates reflect unduplicated counts of children.

Please note that substantiated case rates are based on fiscal years (ending June 30 of the listed year) and child victimization rates are based on calendar years.

Why is this indicator important?

Healthy and safe environments are important to the well-being and development of children. Victims of child abuse are at higher risk of having a number of adverse outcomes throughout their life, including physical, psychological, and behavioral consequences. Physical consequences include abusive head trauma, impaired brain development and poor physical health. Psychological consequences include difficulties during infancy, poor mental and emotional health, cognitive difficulties, and social difficulties. Behavioral consequences include difficulties during adolescence, juvenile delinquency, adult criminality, substance abuse and abusive behavior (6).

How are we doing?

From July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 (fiscal year 2018), there were a total of 10,744 reports of child abuse or neglect received in Tulsa County. After screening, 2,685 referrals were accepted for assessment or investigation.

Overall, there were 16.4 substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect per 1,000 children in Tulsa County during the 2018 fiscal year. In general, the rate of substantiated child abuse cases has been increasing in both Tulsa County and Oklahoma. Please note that this may include duplicated child counts.

In 2018, the child victimization rate in Oklahoma was 16.1 child victims per 1,000 population, which was higher than the US overall (9.2). The child victimization rate in the US has stayed relatively consistent since 2011, while the rate in Oklahoma has been increasing overall.  

Race/ethnicity data is provided for children in Tulsa County and Oklahoma who were placed in out-of-home placements in fiscal year 2018. The largest percentage of out-of-home placements were white children. Tulsa County had a higher percentage of black children compared to Oklahoma overall, while Oklahoma had a higher percentage of American Indian children.  Tulsa County and Oklahoma were similar on the percentages of children who were Asian/Pacific Islander and children who were of Hispanic ethnicity.

Unintentional Injuries

Definition

Unintentional injuries (accidents) include motor vehicle accidents, accidental falls, drownings, fires, and poisonings. The death rate from unintentional injuries is the number of deaths per 100,000 population, for the single year 2018 and over the years 2016 to 2018. The rates were age-adjusted to account for differences in age distribution among locations, regions, zip codes, and races/ethnicities.

Why is this indicator important?

Accidents were the fifth leading cause of death in Tulsa County from 2016 to 2018. The top three accident categories are accidental poisonings, motor vehicle accidents and falls. Accidental poisonings can include unintentional drug overdoses, as well as poisonings from household chemicals or carbon monoxide (7).

Motor vehicle safety prevention efforts often aim to improve car/booster seat and seat belt use, reduce impaired driving, as well as focus on high risk groups such as child passengers, teen drivers and older adult drivers (8).

Risk factors for falls include lower body weakness, difficulties with walking and balancing, vision problems, foot pain or poor footwear and home hazards such as uneven steps or clutter that could be tripped over. Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors (9).

How are we doing?

In 2018, Tulsa County had an age-adjusted unintentional injury death rate of 54.0 deaths per 100,000 population. This was lower than Oklahoma (62.6) but higher than the U.S. (48.0). None of these regions met the Healthy People 2020 target of 36.0 deaths from unintentional injuries per 100,000 population. In fact, all three regions have increased rates of unintentional mortality since 2011.

Accidents killed 1,045 Tulsa County residents from 2016 to 2018, for a death rate of 53.8 deaths per 100,000 individuals. With regard to race, in Tulsa County the death rate was highest among American Indian/Alaskan Native population (80.6 per 100,000), while for Oklahoma overall, it was highest in Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders.  In both locations, people of non-Hispanic ethnicity had higher mortality due to unintentional injuries than did people of Hispanic ethnicity.  

Regionally in Tulsa County, the North Tulsa region had the highest mortality rate due to unintentional injuries.  This has been true since 2011-2013.  

The zip code with the highest overall unintentional injury death rate was 74130 which is in the North Tulsa region.

Explore the Data



Please click here to download the data.