Erin's Law will give victims a voice in Illinois

Schools will be required to implement age-appropriate curriculum.

Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law Thursday requiring child sexual abuse prevention education be taught in grades pre-K through 5. Schools will be required to implement age-appropriate curriculum.

Known as Erin's Law , proponents say it helps give victims a voice and prevent future incidents of sexual assault and abuse.

The law is named after Erin Merryn who survived molestation and rape before the age of 13.

"Had my parents or teachers taught me about safe touch / unsafe touch, safe secrets / unsafe secrets, and empowered me with a voice, I would have been saved years of sexual abuse," Erin Merryn said.

Merryn is from Schaumburg, Illinois, but attended Western Illinois University.

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In anticipation of the passage of Erin TMs Law, Advocacy Network for Children has been exploring possible prevention programs to be an additional resource for schools, churches and other organizations in all nine counties they serve. According to a release, the organizationn is currently working with the Early Childhood Center in Quincy for its first presentation.

The age-appropriate presentation will introduce the Happy Bear mascot. A curriculum for older students is being developed and will be available for use in the near future. You can find more information at

Find Erin's Law on Facebook here .