HARTFORD, Conn. – A group of state lawmakers and a national advocate spoke Friday in favor of passage of a bill known as “Erin’s Law,” which requires that school children be taught to report sexual abuse by adults.
The law, which has been passed in 11 states and is being considered in 26 others, gets its name from Erin Merryn, a child abuse prevention advocate, who was sexually abused as a child. Merryn joined lawmakers Friday at a Hartford press conference in support of the bill, which she said is designed to empower kids, who may not know they can report abuse.
“The same way we teach kids in school ‘stranger-danger,’ ‘don’t go look for the lost puppy,’ we teach kids bully intervention . . . we do tornado drills, bus drills, fire drills. How about the eight ways to say no to drugs through DARE? We give kids all this important information but the one message we fail to teach kids is how to speak up and tell if they’re being abused,” she said.
Merryn said she was sexually abused by a neighbor when she was between the ages of six and eight. She was abused again by a family member when she was between 11 and 13.
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