PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Monday, the City of Pueblo had a work session where a spike in child abuse cases was discussed.
According to law enforcement, there have been 68 reported child abuse cases from January 1 through May 30. This is more than a 39% increase from previous years.
Law enforcement said they saw a 63% decrease from 2017 to 2021. However, city officials believe the decrease was another side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The director at the CASA of Pueblo, Zane Grant, said even if you only suspect a child is being abused, you should still contact authorities.
“We just want people to be diligent and do their part. We really can’t do this work if we don’t have the citizens and the people observing certain things making that report, said Zane Grant.”
Officials say mandatory reporters, like doctors, school personal, and law enforcement, came in contact with children less because of the pandemic.
Monday, law enforcement officers proposed new ideas to help educate parents and kids. They plan on having detectives at schools, hosting human trafficking demos at schools, and affordable or free after school care and classes to help educate children and parents on abuse.
Grant says early intervention and in-services are critical to help save children from bad environments.
“Sometimes when we try to see children outside of their environment we don’t get the full picture," said Zane Grant.
If you suspect any child being a victim of child abuse or neglect call the Colorado hotline at 1-844-CO-4KIDS (264-5437).
To become a volunteer with CASA and help with child abuse cases click here.