Legislation will provide critical safety information to students
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2015
ANCHORAGE – Today, the Alaska Legislature approved House Bill 44, which includes both Erin’s Law and Bree’s Law.
Erin’s Law requires public schools in Alaska to offer students an age appropriate sexual assault awareness and prevention curriculum that will give them important, critical personal body safety information to protect themselves from sexual abuse. Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) has championed Erin’s Law in Alaska for 2 years as a way to address the silent epidemic of child sexual abuse.
“The process to get Erin’s passed has been challenging, with roadblocks at nearly every turn. However, it’s worth it if this bill can protect future generations of Alaskans from being abused,” said Rep. Tarr. “The scope of the problem of child sexual abuse demands action and Erin’s Law can help. I’m thrilled we can send this bill to Governor Walker for his enthusiastic signature.”
House Bill 44 also includes Bree’s Law, which is named for Breanna Moore who was shot to death last year in Anchorage in a tragic case of dating violence. Bree’s Law requires dating violence education be provided to middle and high school students in Alaska’s public schools.
“If the dating violence education included in Bree’s Law was available for my daughter she might still be with us,” said Breanna Moore’s father, Butch Moore. “The supporters of Erin’s Law and Bree’s Law have been very patient with the legislative process and I’m thrilled legislators have come together in the best interests of our children.”
Erin’s Law is named for child sex abuse survivor Erin Merryn who has been working to get the law passed in all 50 states.
“I’m so thankful for all the Erin’s law supporters in Alaska, including Representative Tarr, who have worked tirelessly to help craft an acceptable piece of legislation that can clear the legislative process in Alaska this year,” said Erin Merryn. “Erin’s Law empowers children with their voice instead of allowing sex offenders to silence them, which is what happened to me.”
With passage of H.B. 44, Alaska will be the 26th state in the nation to implement Erin’s Law.