Child sexual abuse is an ugly topic many would rather avoid. The sad truth is that children of every demographic (gender, age, race, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, and family structure) are at risk.1 There are an estimated thirty-nine million survivors of sexual abuse in the United States; three million of those are children. Those who abuse children are usually known by the child; they look like anyone else, and are often children themselves. 2
A new law, “Erin’s Law” requires that all public schools implement a child sexual abuse prevention program which teaches students in grades pre K to 5th grade, age-appropriate techniques to recognize child sexual abuse and tell a trusted adult. The law requires training of school personnel about child sexual abuse, teaching caregivers the warning signs of child sexual abuse, and providing referral or resource information to support sexually abused children and their families.3
Erin’s Law is named after a childhood sexual assault survivor and admirable young lady who introduced the legislation in her home state of Illinois, the bill was named Erin’s Law after her by legislators. Erin’s goal is to pass the law nationwide!
There are those who are still uncomfortable with the idea of sex education in schools, especially early sex education. Erin’s Law brings us hope that more children will be able to protect themselves against sexual abuse and speak-up against abusers.
For additional information about Erin’s Law visit:
1. Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois - http://www.erinslawillinois.org/
2. Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois - http://www.erinslawillinois.org/