Erin Merryn was raped and molested for six and a half years by a neighbor and a family member. Erin began a crusade her senior year of high school in 2004 to end the silence and shame around sexual abuse. In order to help others avoid the pain and suffering that Erin felt, Erin’s law is being introduced to many states.
Erin’s law will educate children in public schools on sexual abuse prevention through age appropriate curriculum through role plays, discussions, activities, and books giving children the tools to speak up and tell if anyone has ever touched them inappropriately rather than keep it a secret.
Educating children on safe touch, unsafe touch, safe secrets, and unsafe secrets, how to get away and tell today. According to proponents of the law, the instruction is to be provided the same way we teach children on bullying intervention, stranger danger, internet safety, and DARE. Unfortunately without being educated most children will be repeatedly abused for years because often the only message they get comes from their abuser threatening them into silence.
Erin’s mission is to shatter the silence and stigma around sexual abuse and educate children and empower them with their voice. Erin’s Law also requires educators to be trained on the prevention of child sexual abuse. Erin’s Law has been passed in 37 states with 10 more introducing it. Erin Merryn is on a national crusade going state to state passing Erin’s Law with the mission to get all 50 states teaching it.
Erin’s Law was recently passed here and requires New York schools to provide child sexual abuse prevention instruction to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The state education commissioner will establish regulations for the age-appropriate lessons. The law will take effect July 1, 2020, prior to the 2020-21 school year.
Merryn and Gary Greenberg, an advocate who successfully campaigned for passage of the Child Victims Act in 2019, wanted a public signing event. "By requiring schools to teach kids how to recognize and ultimately thwart this heinous behavior, we are giving our most vulnerable New Yorkers a voice and empowering them to protect themselves," Cuomo said in a statement.