Child Abuse Network Reports Helping Record-Breaking Number of Kids

      The Child Abuse Network has reported helping a record-breaking 278 children this month.

      The nonprofit organization said helping 200 children in a month is closer to normal. However, experts said that does not necessarily mean there is a surge in violence against children in Tulsa County.

      "I think increased awareness is probably a big factor," said Child Specialist Melissa Gantz. She believes more people are becoming familiar with definitions of abuse and their obligation to report it.

      Cpl. Greg Smith with Tulsa Police's Child Crisis Unit agreed. He said some reports suggest abuse of any type can increase months after tough economic times. Still, he said he hopes the surge stems from more people coming forward. He said Oklahoma law requires anyone with suspicion of abuse to report it. That law is no longer exclusive to certain professionals.

      CAN estimates 1 in 25 children in Tulsa County will be a part of a child abuse investigation.

      CAN incorporates child interviewers, medical staff, the Department of Human Services, and law enforcement. They assist with child abuse investigations. The organization is nonprofit and said it needs donations to run smoothly and help children. View the group's wish list.