State Hopes to Curb Child Abuse, Neglect

By Brown, Trevor | Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), April 23, 2013 | Go to article overview

State Hopes to Curb Child Abuse, Neglect


Brown, Trevor, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY)


Officials say increasing awareness is needed to protect against crimes By the numbers Child abuse or neglect cases in Wyoming: 2012: 705 reported child victims and 444 substantiated cases. 2011: 718 reported child victims and 448 substantiated cases. 2010: 735 reported child victims and 445 substantiated cases. Source: Wyoming National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System report CHEYENNE - Wyoming's top officials and child advocates say more can be done to prevent child abuse and neglect in the state. Gov. Matt Mead said Monday that increasing public awareness of the issue is a key step toward reducing the 705 victims of child abuse or neglect reported last year. "We know this is going to be a long haul," he said during a news conference in the State Capitol. "We know it is going to take us a lot of time to get better. "But as governor I am convinced we can do better, and as governor I'm convinced we must do better." Noting that this is National Child Abuse Awareness Month, Mead said the state has made improvements during recent years. This includes efforts to crack down on child pornography. Federal data also show slight improvements in the numbers of abuse or neglect crimes that have been reported. There were 705 reported child victims and 444 substantiated cases of abuse in Wyoming during 2012, according to The Wyoming National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. This is a slight drop from the 718 reported victims and 448 substantiated cases in 2011 and the 735 reported victims and 445 substantiated cases in 2010. But Lynn Huylar, director of Safe Harbor and board president for the Child Advocacy Center of Wyoming, said these numbers only reflect part of the story. Many child abuse cases go unreported, she said. For example, she said it is believed that one half of all sexual assaults involving children are not reported. Huylar and other advocates said that increasing the public's understanding of the issue is a leading way to encourage victims to come forward and help prevent cases from occurring. …

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