Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, by having schools educating children on sexual abuse in a child friendly manner. PASS ERIN'S LAW at the federal level.
Urge the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and President Obama to pass ERIN'S LAW at the federal level.
About Erin Merryn
Erin Merryn, is a child sexual abuse survivor and is the namesake of Erin's Law. She has writtin two books, about her experience, "Stolen Innocence," and living for today. She has a master's degree in social work and is working to get Erin's Law passed across America at the state and federal level. So far she has passed Erin's Law in the Illinois state legislature unanimously, without receiving a single no vote.
"Growing up in Illinois public schools every year I was educated with my classmates on tornado drills, fire drills, bus drills, stranger danger, and learned the 8 steps to say "NO" to drugs through D.A.R.E.. As a child I never had to take cover because of a real tornado. I never had to stop, drop, and roll or run out of a burning building. I never had to evacuate a school bus due to an emergency, but I had the knowledge to know what to do if any of those situations happened. Where was the drill on how to escape a child molester? Where was the lesson plan on sexual abuse, safe touches, and safe secrets? It never came. I was not educated on "How to Tell Today or How to Get Away." I was never educated on "My Body Belongs to Me." When a grown man lay on top of me at 6 1/2 years old and threaten to tie me to a bed if I did not lay still and be quiet as he raped me or when my teenage cousin locked me behind closed doors and warned me "this is our little secret, no one will believe you, this will destroy our family" as he sexually abused me on a bed I stayed silent. When I was raped and sexually abused as a child I did not know what to do. My body seemed to belong to the men that used and abused it was the message I learned, because I was getting no other message." - Erin Merryn, child sexual abuse survivor, activist, public speaker, and author of "Stolen Innocence" and "Living for Today."
One in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused (i.e., rape, voyeurism, sexual dialogue, fondling, touching of the genitals, vaginal, anal, or oral rape and forcing children to participate in pornography or prostitution) before their eighteenth birthday. Ninety percent of the time the abuser is someone the child knows.
Currently, while there are programs in schools that educate kids about saying ‘no' to drugs - there are no programs in schools that educate children in a child friendly way about what is a good touch and what is a bad touch.
What is Erin's Law?
Erin's Law, is a bill that requires that children be educated by law in schools on sexual abuse in a child friendly manner, for the purpose of informing and protecting students from sexual abuse.
Under Erin's Law, school districts implement would be mandated to educate students on sexual abuse. In addition school boards will adopt age appropriate curriculum on sexual abuse education to students in grades pre-k through 12th grade. The sexual abuse curriculum will include; "(1) A clear definition to students on sexual abuse and how to prevent becoming a victim. "How to Tell Today" & "How to Get Away" (2) Educating elementary level children on appropriate touches: safe and unsafe touches. (3) Educating elementary level children on safe and unsafe secrets and not allowing anyone to keep you silent. (4) Identifying safe people in children's lives they can talk to if someone touches them inappropriately. (5) Providing information to parents on warning signs of sexual abuse (6) Providing parents with resources of help if child reports abuse. (7) Information printed in student-handbook on sexual abuse."
Why do we need to pass Erin's Law?
Education in schools is an effective method for preventing children from falling prey to sexual abuse or stay silent if it does occur. When a child is sexually abused they are scared, frightened, and don't know what to do. Children who are sexually abused often don't tell anyone they have been sexually abused, because they feel ashamed and guilty, they fear that they will anger their perpetrator, or because their perpetrators threatens them not to stay quiet and/or telling the child that no one will believe them, which can often times lead for the abuse to last for years at a time.
Over 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way whether it be a parent, other relative, teacher, babysitter, family friend, neighbor, etc. Therefore a lot of the times child sexual abuse victims don't have a loving parent to tell them what is a good touch and a bad touch.
As a result, it is vital to pass Erin's Law to prevent more children from becoming victims of sexual abused, so that schools can teach children in a child friendly manner about what is a good touch and a bad touch and when someone touches them in a bad way, that it is never okay, it's not their fault, and that they need to tell a responsible adult.
What you can do to get Erin's Law passed?
Please sign the petition to get Erin's Law passed. Also contact your legislators at federal level and urge them to pass Erin's Law.
Please also check out Erin Merryn's website http://www.erinmerryn.net/">http://www.erinmerryn.net/
Here is a copy of Erin's Law Text in the Illinois.
The name of this law is Erin's Law.
Each school district may adopt and implement a policy addressing sexual abuse of children that may include age-appropriate curriculum for students in pre-K through 5th grade; training for school personnel on child sexual abuse; educational information to parents or guardians provided in the school handbook on the warning signs of a child being abused, along with any needed assistance, referral, or resource information; available counseling and resources for students affected by sexual abuse; and emotional and educational support for a child of abuse to continue to be successful in school.
Any policy adopted may, but is not limited to, address the following:
(1) methods for increasing teacher, student, and parent awareness of issues regarding sexual abuse of children, including knowledge of likely warning signs indicating that a child may be a victim of sexual abuse:
(2) actions that a child who is a victim of sexual abuse should take to obtain assistance and intervention; and
(3) available counseling options for students affected by sexual abuse.
SECTION 2. The Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children is created. The Task Force shall establish strategies for reducing child sexual abuse throughout Illinois.
The task force consists of nine members appointed as follows:
(1) five members appointed by the governor;
(2) one members appointed by the President of the Senate;
(3) one member appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate;
(4) one member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
(5) one member appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives;
Members of the task force must be individuals who are actively involved in the fields of the prevention of child abuse and neglect and child welfare. The appointment of members must reflect the geographic diversity of the state.
The task force shall elect a presiding officer by a majority vote of the membership of the task force. The task force shall meet at the call of the presiding officer.
The task force shall establish strategies for reducing child sexual abuse in Illinois. In establishing those strategies, the task force shall:
(1) gather information concerning child sexual abuse throughout the state;
(2) receive reports and testimony from individuals, state and local agencies, community-based organizations, and other public and private organizations;
(3) create goals for state policy that would prevent child sexual abuse; and
(4) submit a final report with its final strategic goals and plans to the Office of the Governor and the State Legislature by April 30, 2011.
The aforementioned strategic plan may include proposals for specific statutory changes and methods to foster cooperation among state agencies and between the state and local government.
The task force shall consult with employees of the Department of Children and Family Services, the Criminal Justice Information Agency, the Department of State Police, the Illinois State Board of Education and any other State agency or department as necessary to accomplish the task force's responsibilities under this Act.
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