Rep. Tarr and Erin Merryn

Bipartisan Legislation Would Help Fund Programs to Protect Children from Sexual Predators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2015

ANCHORAGE – The U.S. Senate is scheduled to consider legislation Wednesday morning that would provide federal funding for Erin’s Law programs in public schools across the country.  Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) helped lead the charge for passage of Erin’s Law in Alaska and wholeheartedly supports the provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015that provides funding for Erin’s Law programs nationwide.

“Thousands of stakeholders stepped up and helped protect the children of Alaska with passage of Erin’s Law in Alaska earlier this year,” said Rep. Tarr.  “It’s now time for Senators Murkowski and Sullivan to show that same commitment to children and vote yes Wednesday morning.”

In June Alaska became the 26th state to pass legislation to implement Erin’s Law to give students personal body safety information to protect themselves from sexual abuse. 

“The devastation suffered by the victims of child sexual abuse is preventable but only if children know what to do and who to trust,” said Rep. Tarr.  “Schools need the resources to develop and implement Erin’s Law and I support this bipartisan effort to make it a priority nationwide.”

Erin’s Law is the life’s work of child sexual abuse survivor Erin Merryn who developed the law as a way to give children the tools and information they need to keep themselves safe from sexual predators.

“The biggest hurdle in getting Erin’s Law passed in each state has been the lack of funding,” said Erin Merryn.  “I am confident that the remaining states will embrace Erin’s Law if the funding issue can be solved through passage of this federal legislation.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 includes funding for school programs that give age-appropriate instruction and training to students on how to recognize and report sexual abuse.   The U.S. Senate is scheduled to consider the legislation Wednesday.  The legislation was passed by the House of Representatives last week. 

For more information contact Rep. Geran Tarr’s office at (907) 269-0144.

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