Erin’s Law is a set of regulations that require schools to implement child abuse prevention programs. The law is named after Erin Merryn, a child abuse survivor and advocate who has been working to pass similar legislation in all 50 states.
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What is Erins Law?
Erin’s Law is a state law that requires schools to teach age-appropriate classes on sexual abuse and assault prevention. The law is named after Erin Merryn, who was sexually abused as a child. Erin’s Law has been adopted by more than 30 states.
The history of Erins Law
Erin’s law is a New York state law that was passed in 2012. It requires that all public school districts in the state provide age-appropriate instruction on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention to students in grades K-12. The law is named after Erin Merryn, a childhood sexual abuse survivor who is now an advocate for victims’ rights.
Merryn was sexually abused by a family member from the ages of six to eight. When she was 17, she told her story publicly for the first time, in order to help other victims of abuse feel less alone and more comfortable coming forward. After going public with her story, Merryn became an advocate for stronger laws to protect children from sexual predators.
In 2011, Merryn testified before the New York State Senate in support of a bill that would later become Erins Law. The bill passed unanimously in both the Senate and the Assembly, and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2012.
Today, thanks to Erins Law, all public school districts in New York state are required to provide age-appropriate instruction on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention to students in grades K-12. This important law is helping to create a safer environment for all of New York’s children.
Why was Erins Law created?
Erins Law was created in response to the tragic shootings at Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School. The law is named after Erin Nicole Sefcik, who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.
The purpose of Erins Law is to require schools to teach students about how to identify and respond to signs of mental health crises and suicidal behavior. The law also requires schools to develop policies and procedures for responding to mental health crises and suicide prevention.
How does Erins Law work?
Erin’s Law is a school safety law that requires public schools in the state of Illinois to teach age-appropriate coursework on sexual abuse and assault prevention. The goal of the law is to empower children with the knowledge and tools they need to identify and report sexual abuse.
The law requires that all public schools in Illinois implement a sexual abuse and assault prevention curriculum for grades Pre-K through 12. The curriculum must be age-appropriate and evidence-based, and must include discussions on consent, personal body safety, healthy relationships, and how to report abuse. Schools are also required to provide annual training for staff on sexual abuse and assault prevention.
Erin’s Law was passed in 2013, and is named after Erin Merryn, a childhood sexual abuse survivor who is an advocate for victims’ rights.
What are the benefits of Erins Law?
Erins Law is a set of educational requirements for elementary and secondary schools in the state of New York. The law is named for 12-year-old Erin Maxwell, who was murdered by her father in 2008. Erin’s Law requires schools to provide age-appropriate instruction on recognizing and reporting abuse, as well as providing support services for students who have been victims of abuse.
The benefits of Erins Law are twofold. First, the law helps to ensure that all students in New York State receive the same high-quality education on recognizing and reporting abuse. This increases the likelihood that abuse will be reported and may help to prevent future victims. Second, the law provides support services for students who have already been victimized by abuse. These services can help students heal and cope with the trauma of their experience, as well as providing them with the resources they need to avoid future victimization.
How has Erins Law helped victims of sexual abuse?
In response to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, Erin Runnion lobbied for a new law in California, which was passed in 2002. The law requires all public schools in the state to provide age-appropriate instruction on sex crimes and personal safety to students in grades K-6. The goal of the law is to prevent child sexual abuse by teaching children about personal body safety, so they can identify abuse and tell someone about it.
Since its passage, Erin’s Law has been adopted by dozens of other states. A 2018 study found that kids who received instruction under the law were significantly more likely to tell a trusted adult about sexual abuse than kids who did not receive the instruction.
What are the critics of Erins Law?
Erins Law is a simple but potentially life-saving piece of legislation: It stipulates that every public school district in New York State must provide age-appropriate instruction on recognizing, avoiding and reporting child sexual abuse and assault.
The age-appropriate instruction must take place at least once a year in grades Kindergarten through 8th, and must be provided by a certified instructor. The state Education Department provides a list of approved vendors who can provide the training.
But not everyone is on board with the law. Critics say that it puts an undue burden on already overstretched school districts, and that it does not do enough to address the root causes of child sexual abuse and assault. Some have also raised concerns about the age-appropriateness of the instruction, arguing that it could traumatize younger children.
Is Erins Law effective?
Erins Law is a child abuse prevention program that requires public schools to provide age-appropriate instruction to students in grades K-12 on the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. The law is named after Erin Merryn, a child sexual abuse survivor who was Molested by a neighbor at age six and again by a family friend at age eleven.
Merryn has been an outspoken advocate for laws to protect children from sexual abuse, and she testified in support of Erins Law in Illinois in 2013. The legislation passed in Illinois, and Merryn has since advocated for its passage in other states.
As of October 2019, Erins Law has been enacted in 22 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,, North Carolina,, Ohio,, Oklahoma,, South Carolina,, Tennessee,, Texas,, Virginia and Wisconsin.
What impact has Erins Law had on sexual abuse prevention?
Since Erin’s Law was enacted in 2010, it has had a positive impact on sexual abuse prevention. The law requires schools to provide age-appropriate instruction on sexual abuse and assault prevention. This education is important because it can help children learn how to identify abuse and report it to a trusted adult. Additionally, the law has helped raise awareness of sexual abuse among adults, which has resulted in more reporting of abuse incidents.
What challenges does Erins Law face in the future?
Erin’s Law is a child protection law that requires schools to provide age-appropriate educational programming on sexual abuse and assault prevention. Despite its life-saving potential, Erin’s Law faces several challenges in the years ahead.
One challenge is that many schools lack the funding to implement Erin’s Law properly. According to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, it can cost up to $225 per student to provide the required educational programming. For a school district with 10,000 students, that amounts to a total cost of $2.25 million.
Another challenge is that Erin’s Law educational programming must be provided on an ongoing basis in order for it to be effective. This means that schools must have a system in place for continually delivering the curriculum to students in an engaging way. Additionally, teachers and other school staff need to be trained on how to best deliver the curriculum.
Finally, Erin’s Law does not currently address digital sexual abuse or assault, which is an increasingly common form of child sexual abuse. As more children are exposed to sexually explicit material online and through social media, it is important that Erin’s Law be updated to include prevention messaging for this type of sexual abuse and assault.