Updated: 04/24/2014 1:43 PM |
Created: 04/24/2014 1:01 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra and Elizabeth Reed, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The Bernalillo County district attorney says child abuses cases have spiked dramatically so far this year.
DA Kari Brandenburg released the numbers Thursday morning. Since the death of 9-year-old Omaree Varela in Albuquerque, the Children, Youth and Families Department says there has been a spike in the number of people calling about abuse.
While authorities say it's good that people are acting quickly and reporting, it also shows a serious problem in Bernalillo County.
From January until March of this year, Brandenburg says her office has screened 375 cases. Out of those, 80 cases led to indictments.
In 2013—for the entire year—946 cases were screened and 317 of those cases lead to indictments.
Brandenburg projects her office will screen 1,500 child abuse cases in 2014.
"It brings to the forefront that we need to protect our children. We need to find a way to protect our children because those things shouldn't happen. They absolutely shouldn't happen," she said.
You can report abuse or neglect by calling 1-855-333-7233.