Children’s Advocacy Project Reports to Wyoming
In light of recent publications involving sex offenders and child abuse in Natrona County, K2Radio News felt compelled to sit down with the Children's Advocacy Project (CAP) to discuss how they work to help children tell their stories in the hopes of sex abusers being convicted.
For last week's Report to Wyoming podcast, K2Radio News sat down with Stacy Nelson, the executive director at CAP, and Rosemary Bartle, a counselor and forensic interviewer.
Nelson said she's been working as the director at CAP for a little over six years now. She said she's always had a huge passion for helping kids.
In Casper, CAP has been open for about 20 years. "Our community adopted that program because, back then, they recognized how difficult it is to prosecute child abuse cases, hold people accountable, and help those kids" said Nelson.
Child advocacy centers and their services have been argued by defense attorneys and prosecutors within the criminal justice system.
"Studies show it minimizes their trauma, because they've gone through and witness horrific things" said Nelson.
Bartle added, "the kids don't have to speak to people over and over and over and tell their story to different people."
Last year, according to Nelson, they conducted 354 interviews.
Some days they're booked the entire day, some days they don't conduct any interviews at all.
"Statistics say 1 in 4 and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. That's huge, and anything we can do to protect one child, or one family, is worth the effort," said Bartle.
CAP is a collaborative effort between prosecutors, law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions, DFS, victims services and the hospital.
According to city data, there were 270 registered sex offenders living in Casper as of November 17. The ratio of all residents to sex offenders in Casper is 221 to 1. The ratio of registered sex offenders to all residents in this city is near the state average.