Erin’s Law and Bree’s Law Passed
June 12, 2015
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.”
“This bill may not be the lynchpin that solves the epidemic,” said Leader Millett, R-Anchorage. “However we know that every victim matters, and if these prevention efforts can save one person, we know we have done our job.”
“We worked hard to incorporate policies into this bill that protect our children, while staying mindful of the financial burdens of our schools and time of our teachers,” Leader Millett added. “I truly believe a balance was struck, and our state will add to our work of stemming the tide of our sexual assault and domestic violence epidemic.”
With passage of H.B. 44, Alaska will be the 26th state in the nation to implement Erin’s Law.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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