To the editor:

Easter weekend, the news of the passing of a 2-year-old child in the community rocked the Big Horn Basin. 

Numerous folks poured forth comments on Facebook and the online forums of the local newspapers about the injustice of losing a child so young as a result of child abuse.

And while the Park County prosecutors sort out what charges will be handed out to the adults involved, it is an important time to remind everyone that child abuse is bigger than just when or how quickly law enforcement or the Department of Family Services can respond. Child abuse is a community issue. Prevention lies in the hands of Wyoming neighbors. 

To be a true neighbor is to look out for what is best for someone – even if that is hard to do. To be a true neighbor means if you see something, say something. And don’t just say something on social media – make a call to authorities. Everyone in Wyoming is a mandatory reporter. Everyone.

When the little girl arrived at the Emergency room severely injured, it was the 11th hour. Reports of her injuries indicate something had been going on for a period of time. How could this be the first time anyone had heard anything?

So, in honor of this beautiful little girl and her life cut short, take a proactive role in your community. Be a true neighbor to your fellow Wyomingites. If something is amiss, report it. Child abuse is preventable if communities come together to learn the signs of child abuse and neglect; if communities are aware of whom to call; and if communities are truly looking to the best interest of our children.

Be a good neighbor, Wyoming.

(s) jessi kinkade


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