Alaskans wore blue on Friday to focus attention on the state's epidemic of child abuse, along with ways to report its occurrence and prevent its spread.

Anchorage residents gathered in blue attire Friday at a Midtown rally for what the nonprofit Alaska Children's Trust dubbed Go Blue Day.

According to a 2016 report from the trust, children in Alaska are 56% more likely to suffer abuse than children nationwide. Almost half of all children abused in Alaska are 4 years old or younger, with 80% of victims abused before age 10.

Trevor Storrs, the trust's president, says attention is a crucial component in preventing that abuse.

"Children are our No. 1 resource here in Alaska," Storrs said. "They're really our future and if we don't ensure that they are safe, stable and have a nurturing environment, we are not going to have a good state."

The theme this year is "Dare to be the One," which Storrs says challenges people to be involved. According to the trust, Alaskans can fight child abuse by saying something if they see it, becoming a mentor, or adopting or fostering children.

Organizers say Go Blue Day is a good way to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

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