Erin’s Law Passes Alaska Senate

by Daysha Eaton on April 11, 2014

Erin Merryn testifying in Pennsylvania in September 2012.

Erin Merryn testifying in Pennsylvania in September 2012.

The Alaska Senate unanimously passed Erin’s Law this morning.  The law  provides age-appropriate sexual abuse education to children in public schools.

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Erin’s Law would educate children in public schools to speak up if something inappropriate happens. It also trains teachers and trusted adults to recognize signs that a child is being abused.

Republican Senator Lesil McGuire brought forth a Senate bill identical to the House version first sponsored by Democratic Representative Garan Tarr. McGuire testified that Erin’s Law was the first step toward eliminating sexual abuse of children in Alaska.

“We lead the nation. This is one of those places where I hope a decade from now that we’ll be not leading the nation that we will completely flip the statistics. And I think this is gonna be a big part of it, Mr. President, is asking that our schools put age appropriate education about good touch, bad touch, good secrets, bad secrets,” said McGuire. 

Sponsors expect that training would reach more than 90 percent of Alaska’s youth who attend public schools and the adults who spend a lot of time with them.

Erin’s Law, named after 29-year-old Erin Merryn (Mah-RIN) from Illinois, who was sexually abused as a child and has made it her goal to pass the law in all 50 states.

The law includes two-year delay for implementation. Governor Sean Parnell supports Erin’s Law.

The House version sits in the Finance Committee.The law has been passed in 12 states and is pending in 25 others.

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