Albany County Safe Project is reaching out to Laramie schools with preventative measures

regarding unhealthy relationships.

 

Safe Project is a program that serves to educate and advocate for anyone who needs it. SAFE

works to help people that have faced domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking. They

interact with those of many different ethnicities and ages. As of late their focus has been on

Laramie’s youth.

 

SAFE’s Outreach Coordinator Livvy Gerrish and their Prevention Education Coordinator are

spreading education to children and teens of all ages. SAFE believes that early education is

crucial to avoid future toxic relationships.

 

“We think that it is really important to educate children and teens about healthy relationships

early so that they can avoid scary relationships in the future. We have already been doing

presentations at an elementary school level and hope to do more.” Livvy Gerrish said.

 

SAFE has taken note of the unhealthy relationships plaguing Laramie teens. One in four dating teens

have been abused via technology alone. SAFE wants to make a difference. Since many teens

enter their first relationships in high school, it can be hard for them to distinguish between what

is normal and what is not. Another factor for what teens consider healthy is what they see online:

in songs, in books and in movies. Many of these provide mixed messages about what a safe

relationship looks like. SAFE wants to show kids what is healthy- and what isn’t.

 

“The youth in Laramie are dealing with really unhealthy relationships. When you are in high

school you get some of your first experiences with relationships. A lot of high school students

are dealing with unhealthy relationships that could easily turn abusive – some already have.

Knowing what is healthy and what is not in a relationship can be really hard.” Gerrish said.

 

SAFE does more than offer education and preventative measures though. They provide things

like microloans, financial/community education, and mental health resources for free. They also

provide free emergency services such as food/water and shelter, protection orders, court escorts,

medical help, crisis intervention, and collaboration with the Laramie Police Department.

Additionally, SAFE runs a 24/7 hotline (307-745-3556). There is also a weekday talkline

available (307-742-7273).

 

Overall, SAFE’s main goal is to provide a voice for people. They advocate for those who have

been taken advantage of and hurt, be it an adult, a child or a teenager.

 

“We all do this work for different reasons. I do it because I feel that everyone has the right to an advocate. If we have the ability, desire, or passion to provide that right – it is our responsibility. Being a part of someone’s story is an honor and a privilege.” Gerrish said.