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Sex Abuse Victim Pushing for Law to Help Others

Erin Merryn. Photo by Dan Jeffers.

Cheers to Time Magazine for this inspiring article on social worker Erin Merryn.

As a child Merryn was sexually abused by a friend’s uncle and later a cousin. As an adult Merryn decided to fight back and help others.

She successfully lobbied Illinois lawmakers to pass “Erin’s Law,” which would create a task force to come up with strategies to reduce child sexual abuse and let school boards implement similar plans. The bill passed the Illinois State Senate and the House is expected to consider it in November.

Merryn is also talking to law enforcement and abuse prevention groups around the country and taking her story to Oprah in hopes of starting a nationwide effort to pass such laws.

Visit Merryn’s Web site by clicking here.

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3 Comments

  1. The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) has been working on prevention for years. Perhaps if offenders weren’t so vilified and psychotherapy so dismissed culturally more people would seek treatment before they act on impulse or urges. I’m not at all minimizing the impact of abuse. Prevention is the key! education is the key! Research is key as well. Victims need therapy and support as well. They are silenced by the pornification of this society.

  2. From a clinician who works with many families recovering from sexual abuse and a former child abuse prevention educator, I thank you. I tried many times to speak in classrooms about all types of child abuse only to be told that “there is no time or money for the program” My argument was always the same; you can not afford not to give every child an opportunity to reach out. It is a sad day when No Child Left Behind is more important than the safety of children in thier homes:(

  3. Child sexual abuse is a talked about issue and laws need to be better implemented for adolescents who commit these crimes, not only adults. My final paper was on Incest. I live in a small community and thought that cases of incest betweent sister and bother, child and mother, etc did not happen, I was naive to believe this. As I worked in mental and behavioral health I learned that this was happening in my community. I completed a paper regarding this matter incest, but i focused my paper on the child/teen perpetrator, treatment available or any laws that applied only to children/teens. There was minimum information and according to the information I found, there is no specific treatment for children/teenagers who are the perpetrators. I believe that both sides need treatment. Children who commit this type of crimes deserve to receive treatment since most of them are victims themselves. Sex is talked about so much and there are no limits anymore on TV. Many things would need to change and people would need to be more aware that the world is not made up of only adults there are lots of children who are getting hurt.

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