Oklahoma Law Requires Everyone Report Suspected Child Abuse

The Department of Human Services said it received nearly 15,000 child abuse and neglect reports in Tulsa last year and found 45% of the reports were substantiated.

Thursday, February 9th 2023, 10:21 pm



Oklahoma law requires everyone to report suspected cases of child abuse.

Prosecutors said not only could a child get hurt if you don't file a report, but you could also be charged with a crime as well.

It doesn't matter if you know the victim's name, address, or the full extent of abuse; Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hilborn said not only should you report it, you're required to.

“When you witness some type of child maltreatment taking place or you have learned about child maltreatment taking place, the law requires you to report immediately,” Hilborn said.

Hilborn said the law covers everything that could put a child at risk even if you didn't witness it yourself.

“Abuse comes in many forms and I think the umbrella term is child maltreatment. And so that can take the form of physical abuse. That can take the form of sexual abuse and also neglect situations,” Hilborn said.

The Department of Human Services said it received nearly 15,000 child abuse and neglect reports in Tulsa last year and found 45% of the reports were substantiated.

Family and Children's Services’ Chief Program Officer Christine Marsh said they handle these cases.

“A high, high percentage of the cases that are reported are neglect situations that are often related to having insufficient means to support their basic needs,” Marsh said.

Marsh said it sometimes takes multiple reports to be able to investigate.

"It might be the 10th report that finally causes enough input that the system can take an intervention stance on it,” Marsh said.

If you do believe a child is at risk, call the Department of Human Services at 1-800-522-3511. You can also call 9-1-1.

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