New Jersey Enacts “Erin’s Law”: Requires Sexual Abuse Education for Children, School Personnel and Parents

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It took years, but “Erin’s Law” has been enacted by the New Jersey legislature and recently signed into law by Governor Murphy.

Erin’s Law requires that all New Jersey school districts incorporate age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention and awareness education into the state Student Learning Standards from Pre-K through grade 12. The curriculum must teach:

  • School personnel about child sexual abuse.

  • Parents and guardians about child sexual abuse warning signs as well as assistance, referral or resource information to support any child that has been sexually abused and his or her family.

The goals for Erin’s Law education is that children of all ages will understand personal body safety and how to use their voices if something horrific happens to them.

Erin’s Law Named for Sexual Abuse Survivor and National Advocate

Erin Merryn experienced sexual abuse by a male neighbor when she was just 6 through 8, and then again by a teenage cousin at ages 11 to 13. After her sister was abused by the same cousin, Merryn told their parents and the cousin confessed, but the case never went to trial.

As an adult, Merryn realized that she was not taught not to keep secrets when she was being hurt, and so had suffered sexual abuse in silence for many years. Merryn successfully passed Erin’s Law to mandate child sexual abuse prevention through education in her home state of Illinois. As of now, 37 states have enacted Erin’s Law.  

As reported in INSIDERNJ.com, Anthony Bucco, the recently deceased New Jersey State Senator and Erin’s Law advocate, declared, “Every child should understand how to recognize and report sexual abuse. Teaching kids not to talk to strangers isn’t enough when their abuser could be hiding in plain sight. 93 percent of kids know their attacker. They need age-appropriate safe-touch education.” 

We Can Help If You Have Been a Victim of Sexual Abuse

If you or a family member has experienced bullyingsexual assaultsexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an  accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Essex County Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultationAttorney Paul S. Foreman, a personal injury attorney in Roseland, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.