I spoke on Wed February 10th at a conference in Dixon, Illinois for the Dixon Children Advocacy Center. There I shared like I have so many times before thousands of people what happened behind closed doors to me as a child. Unlike any presentation I have given I presented “Erin’s Law” to the audience. I pulled out a stuffed animal dog and told the crowd I was warned never to go look for the lost puppy but where was the message on “how to tell today when someone is doing unsafe touches or unsafe secrets” I then pulled out my 6th grade D.A.R.E. card (yes I still have it) and I shared with the audience how I learned the 8 ways to say “NO” to drugs. I informed the audience that message got through my head as I have never put a cigarette let alone drugs in my body. I asked the audience where were the 8 ways to “get away” where was the message on “How to Tell Today?” It never came! I then went on to introduce what “Erin’s Law” would do for Illinois and eventually this entire country. Here is a letter from the Chief of Police of Dixon who was in that audience and spoke with me right after. He sent this letter today. Letters like this are the reason I continue to speak because I know people are listening and I have a powerful message I get across.
Thank you for coming to Dixon and sharing your story with us. We can teach our people about the dynamics of sexual abuse, but we could never have brought them to life and put them in their heart the way you did. I have never seen so many people so motivated to take action. You are truly amazing!
I will support your efforts any way I can. I plan on gaining the support of the Illinois Chiefs of Police Association and the Illinois Sheriff’s Association. I will also speak with Senator Tim Bivins of Dixon to see if he will sponsor the bill.
One thing our team is going to get to work on right away is creating a sheet titled “8 ways to tell today and get away”. I loved your comparison to D.A.R.E. and you could not be more right. If you have suggestions for this, please let me know.
I was one of the original members on our child protection team when the Shining Star Children’s Center was create in Dixon . In November of 2000, I was lucky enough to be part of a team that attended “Finding Words” a forensic interview training based on a multi-disciplinary team approach. It changed my life forever and the lives of many others, especially victims of child sexual abuse.
I have always been frustrated with our system and the complete lack of knowledge of community members pertaining to child sexual abuse. I dreamed that one day we could get a platform to launch a campaign in our community to raise awareness and empower our children to say no. I was fortunate to have that opportunity shortly after I was promoted to Chief in June of 2008. The “Champions for Children’s Walk” was that forum and the response was amazing. People are ready to hear the message. We just have to deliver it. I hope to spread this message through law enforcement and get Chief’s and Sheriff’s to join me in this endeavor. These cases are much more than investigating the offense and making an arrest.
If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know. I will be ordering both of your books shortly. I plan to use some of your words during our community awareness presentations that will begin in about a month, as long as that is fine with you.
Chief Dan Langloss – Dixon Police Department