What is Erin’s Law?
Erin’s Law is named after childhood sexual assault survivor, author, speaker and activist Erin Merryn, who is the founder and President of Erin’s Law, which is registered with the State of Illinois and the IRS as a 501 (c)(4) non-profit social welfare organization.
After Erin introduced the legislation in her home state of Illinois, the bill was named “Erin’s Law” after her by legislators and it has caught on nationwide. Illinois is the first state by law to mandate child sexual abuse prevention education. Vermont state board of education required this in schools since 2009. As of July 2019 Erin’s Law has been passed in 37 states, pending in 13. Check out Erin’s recent interview on CNN.
“Erin’s Law” requires that all public schools in each state implement a prevention-oriented child sexual abuse program which teaches:
Students in grades preK – 12th grade, age-appropriate techniques to recognize child sexual abuse and tell a trusted adult
School personnel all about child sexual abuse
Parents & guardians the warning signs of child sexual abuse, plus needed assistance, referral or resource information to support sexually abused children and their families
Ohio now has pending HB 321 (co-sponsors Reps Lipp and Kelly) and Senator Fedor will be introducing it as part of a Senate Bill.
The Section of the House Bill that incorporates Erin’s Law:
Sec. 3314.0310. (A) If a community school serves students in any of grades kindergarten through six, the school’s curriculum for those grades shall include annual age-appropriate instruction in child sexual abuse prevention, including information on available counseling and resources for children who are sexually abused.
(B)(1) If a community school serves students in any of grades seven through twelve, the school’s curriculum for those grades shall include age-appropriate instruction in sexual violence prevention education.
(2) If the parent or legal guardian of a student less than eighteen years of age who is attending a community school submits to the principal of the student’s school a written request to examine the sexual violence prevention education instruction materials used at that school, the principal, within a reasonable period of time after the request is made, shall allow the parent or guardian to \ examine those materials at that school.
The Bill also incorporates training in school safety and violence prevention, including human trafficking content, into the in-service training required by division, as well youth suicide, substance abuse, and previously adopted bullying policy.
Locally, according to The Care House web site, Each day, 13 children are reported abused or neglected in Montgomery County- 13 children who have to relive their nightmares as they tell their painful stories to those who will and need to listen. It’s for the worst of these cases that CARE House exists. Since its inception in 1999, CARE House has served over 9,000 families who have been affected by abuse. How many do not get reported?
Recommended: Rising Above the Scars by Johnnetta McSwain The Road Beyond Abuse http://www.gpb.org/road-beyond-abuse Precious, the 1987 film, adapted from the 1996 novel, Push by Sapphire A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer
Instruction in schools may be the only opportunity victims have to learn that there are ways to relieve or escape their circumstances. • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthdays. • The median age for reported sexual abuse is 9 years old. • Approximately 20% of the victims of sexual abuse are under 8 • Most child victims never report the abuse.
Please help us encourage the passage of this bill by contacting your state representatives. If you are unsure how to proceed, you can find your representative at:
Click on your district and your rep’s name will be displayed.
Click on his/her name.
Click on his/her name.
That will take you to their personal page.
and click on “Email….”