Rep. Tarr Renews Call for Passage of Erin’s Law Legislation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2015
JUNEAU – There are now 10 days left in the first session of the 29th Alaska Legislature but there is still no movement on legislation to implement Erin’s Law in Alaska. Erin’s Law has been proven in many other states to prevent child sexual abuse by requiring public school districts to offer prevention curriculum.
There are four version of Erin’s Law legislation but none of them have advanced beyond their first committee of referral, including House Bill 23 sponsored by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage).
“10 days left and the March child sexual abuse numbers are out,” said Rep. Tarr. “There have been 290 new allegations of child sexual abuse. That brings Alaska’s total number of allegations up to 1,592 since the start of the school year. Many of these cases of abuse might have been prevented if Erin’s Law had passed last session.”
Erin’s Law is named after child sex abuse survivor Erin Merryn, who visited the legislature last year. Rep. Tarr still is hopeful that one of the four Erin’s Law bills will gain some momentum and be passed by lawmakers this session.
“The rates of child sexual abuse in Alaska are too high and unacceptable. We have run out of time and our children are what is at stake,” said Rep. Tarr. “Every day without Erin’s Law is another day we do not empower our children to protect themselves from this silent epidemic.”
On April 2nd, Rep. Tarr held a presentation on teaching personal body safety to children. The presentation featured veteran sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Gernat. She now runs a business that provides instruction on topics like internet safety, cyberbullying and sexting.
Friday, Rep. Tarr will participate in a rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Juneau for “Go Blue Friday”, which is an effort to raise awareness about child abuse nationwide. The rally will begin at 9 am and will feature remarks from Alaska’s First Lady.
For more information contact Rep. Geran Tarr at (907) 465-3424.