13 years ago on April 30, 1998 I was walking into The Children’s Advocacy Center for the first time and broke my silence. I never would have imagined 13 years later I would be looking into the same large mirror staring at myself in the interview room I first broke my silence in. 13 years ago I focused so much on looking at the mirror because I could not bring myself to look the social worker in the eyes because of the dirty things I was sharing with her. Today I was looking into that mirror fixing my hair as a photographer took photos for the London Times newspaper that is doing a feature story on me and my law. I just spent 2 1/2 hours doing a phone interview with the reporter. Looking back on 13 years I realize what a crusade I have taken to shatter the silence of sexual abuse. That first step began by letting out the secrets in a diary at the Children’s Advocacy Center. Which eventually led me to publish two books Stolen Innocence and Living For Today and passing a law in my own state that is now being passed in several other states.
This week alone Missouri Senate all passed it and it will be sent on to the House that now have 3 weeks to sign it and then Erin’s Law heads to Missouri Governor. There are several other states working on it including Iowa and Massachusetts that already have a bill attached to it. I spoke with United States Department of Education last week and have been asked to come to Washington D.C. and speak at their conference in August. I am encouraging them to invite President Obama since they work so closely with him on education in America. In fact I told Kevin Jennings today who is in charge of United States Department of Safe and Drug Free Schools to work on getting Arne Duncan (U.S. Secretary of Education) to have President Obama put the conference in his calendar. No matter what, the President and I will have our talk. I am a woman who accomplishes what she goes after and doesn’t stop until I do. I ran into my high school Algebra teacher today when I was out getting lunch. He was pulling out of the parking lot of Panera and rolled down his window when he saw me and said, “I read about you in the paper all the time.” I laughed and said, “Yep and remember the days I would come to class with my McDonalds application and say I will be working at McDonalds the rest of my life asking would you like fries with that because I can’t do Algebra.” He laughed and remembers it. I had that attitude at the time because of a teacher and guidance counselor that told me I would never get into college and that it wasn’t for me. Boy did I prove them wrong and one day there will be a book published by me encouraging students to accomplish anything they put their minds to and that they can achieve their dreams no matter what their circumstances. Never to let ignorant people doubt you or let them get to your head because you can prove them wrong. I sure did!
After a childhood living in silence and being told this is our secret I sure have made a lot of noise since finding my voice 13 years ago and I don’t think I will be shutting up anytime soon. The more awareness I continue to bring the more the silence and stigma around sexual abuse ends.
Below I have posted a few articles from over the years. There have been dozens of interviews over the years and I never do get to read them all or see them. When I do travel I do many interviews with news stations and writers for the paper that I never see however I have posted a few below from more recent times. You can read many more here. http://www.erinmerryn.net/media.html If you think this is a lot you haven’t seen anything yet. I am just getting started!
Erin’s Law moves forward in Missouri. Be sure to listen to the Senate Debate. Great to hear a Senator who never met me have passion for what I have done. This took place Monday. http://www.missourinet.com/2011/04/25/erins-law-moves-forward-audio/
Erin Merryn Monday April 19th on Laredo, Texas Spanish news station. http://www.kldotv.com/noticia/2011/04/18/247840-erin-merryn-habla-abuso-sexual-durante-conferencia.html If you don’t know Spanish you might not be able to understand since it is done in Spanish. They translated for me since I gave up on Spanish after 8th grade. 🙂
Erin Merryn Radio Interview that aired April 14th on Jon Leiberman Show. (Correspondent of America’s Most Wanted) http://www.dqrm.com/shows/Leiberman/2011/leiberman-15.mp3 I just did another interview with him via Skype that will be airing soon.
Family First: What is the one thing we don’t teach our children in schools? http://familyfirst.com/what%E2%80%99s-the-one-thing-we-don%E2%80%99t-teach-our-children-in-school.html
Daily Herald Newsmaker of the Year http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20101226/news/712269921/
Lake Geneva Regional News “Silent No More” http://www.lakegenevanews.net/Articles-i-2010-12-16-243850.114135_Silent-no-more.html
Daily Herald “Erin’s Law Right For Country” http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20101206/discuss/712069873/
Schaumburg Magazine http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/dailyherald/schaumburg_20090304/