Governor signs Erin’s Law requiring schools to teach about sexual abuse and prevention

Posted 29 August 2019 at 3:41 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.4070-B/A.2577-B) – known as Erin’s Law – that requires public schools to teach child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention classes to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Erin’s Law is named for Erin Merryn, an abuse survivor and activist against child sexual abuse who has advocated for similar laws nationwide for over a decade. This legislation mandates that these prevention classes include practical and age-appropriate instruction on how to recognize the warning signs of child sexual abuse and exploitation and resources on how to find help. The law will take effect on July 1, 2020.

“Sexual abuse is a nationwide epidemic that has inflicted unimaginable pain on countless children, and we must use every lever at our disposal to stop it,” Governor Cuomo said. “Many children who have been a victim of these horrific crimes or who are still suffering from abuse don’t have the information or emotional tools they need to fight back. By requiring schools to teach kids how to recognize and ultimately thwart this heinous behavior, we are giving our most vulnerable New Yorkers a voice and empowering them to protect themselves.”

“No child should have to go through the lifetime of pain and suffering caused by sexual abuse and exploitation,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This legislation will help to ensure young people have the knowledge and resources to help them recognize and prevent abusive behavior. Erin’s Law builds on our continuing efforts to protect children and combat all forms of abuse across the state.”

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