(RIVER COUNTRY JOURNAL) LANSING – Legislation sponsored by Sens. John Proos, Judy Emmons and Rebekah Warren to increase education and training in an effort to help prevent the sexual abuse of children in Michigan was finalized by the Legislature on Friday (December 14) and sent to the governor to be signed.
“Childhood is supposed to be a time of innocence, where a child can learn, play and enjoy life – free of the realities of adulthood, especially concerning sexual abuse,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Unfortunately, many of our kids have this innocence taken from them. One in four girls and one of every seven boys are sexually abused by age 18, and in more than 90 percent of these cases, their abuser is someone they know. Erin’s Law is about helping to end that cycle through education and empowerment.”
The legislation is named “Erin’s Law” after Erin Merryn, a sexual abuse survivor from Illinois whose advocacy in her home state led to the passage of a similar law there in 2011. After going public about abuse by a family member, Merryn made it her mission to try to ensure that children have the age-appropriate education to recognize and talk about sexual abuse.