NEWS: Rep. Tarr Applauds Introduction of Federal Legislation to Help Protect Children from Sexual Abuse

Rep. Tarr and Erin Merryn

Rep. Tarr Asks Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to Cosponsor Funding for Erin’s Law

June 29, 2015

ANCHORAGE – Earlier this month 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.  Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) was instrumental in passage of Erin’s Law in Alaska and she wholeheartedly supports the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Act, which was introduced Thursday in the U.S. Senate by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).  The legislation will fund school programs to implement Erin’s Law.

“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 24 states will embrace Erin’s Law if the funding issue can be solved through passage of this federal legislation.”

The Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Act requires all public schools to implement child sexual abuse prevention programs.  Federal funding can be used to create the programs in partnership with non-profit and community-based organizations.  Rep. Tarr has sent a letter to Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) asking them to sign on as cosponsors of the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Act.

House Bill 44 to implement Erin’s Law in Alaska has been transferred to Governor Bill Walker for his signature.



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