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April 2024 named ‘Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month’ in Laramie County

The Cheyenne social service organization Safe Harbor has received 143 child forensic interviews regarding cases of abuse and neglect.

Gunnar Malm, center, addresses other Laramie County staff members during a public hearing during the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Feb. 20 inside the County Commissioners Board Room. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Laramie County Board of County Commissioners has proclaimed the month of April 2024 as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.

At their regular Tuesday meeting, the commissioners approved the resolution at the request of Safe Harbor, a Cheyenne organization that provides support and resources to children who are victims of abuse and neglect. The organization has worked with 143 children who have been victims of abuse, according to the resolution. More than half of those cases involved sexual abuse.

“We like to highlight that it takes a team and a village to really protect children,” said Lynn Storey-Huylar, director of Safe Harbor, at Tuesday’s meeting. 

Storey-Huylar said that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused by the time they turn 18 years old. She added that for every case of child sexual abuse that gets reported, two other instances go undocumented.

“A lot of children are abused — never tell their story,” the director of Safe Harbor said. “So that’s why it’s really important that we have a community response to child abuse and neglect.”

The county commissioners passed the resolution unanimously. Commissioner Gunnar Malm applauded the work staff at Safe Harbor is doing to protect children, as well as the work of members of other social service organizations.

“It is a dauntless and rigorous task that I think goes unnoticed but shouldn’t,” Malm said. “Those numbers are staggering and quite sobering and sad, to be quite honest with you. And so I’m pleased that we have an organization in our community that is doing what it can, but I urge us, and all citizens, to continue their efforts to improve outcomes for children and reduce those numbers.”