Who: Erin Merryn; Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph; Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan; Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor; and Senate Health Policy Committee members.
What: Merryn and “Erin’s Law” bill sponsors Proos, Emmons and Warren will be testifying about the need to help protect children from sexual abuse by educating children about abuse, encouraging them to speak up and ensuring parents and school personnel have the training needed to spot warning signs and report incidents. Merryn has written several books about her experiences and is now on a mission to see her legislation become law in all 50 states.
When: Wednesday, July 18
Where: Michigan Capitol
Fourth Floor, Room 402/403
Interviews: Merryn and Proos, Emmons and Warren will also be available in Room 405 (across the hall) for questions following the committee hearing. Media may schedule interview times with Merryn or Proos in advance by contacting Kimberly Wadaga of Sen. Proos’ office at 517-373-6960.
Briefing: Senate Bills 1112-1114 would create a one-time Task Force on the Prevention of the Sexual Abuse of Children to make recommendations to school boards addressing child sexual abuse. The task force would be made up of legislators, state officials and experts.
The bipartisan measures are named “Erin’s Law” after Merryn, a sexual abuse survivor from Illinois, whose advocacy led to the passage of a similar law in her home state in 2011 and laws in Maine, Indiana and Missouri. The measures are also being considered in several other states. After going public about abuse by a family member, Merryn, whose mother grew up in Paw Paw, made it her mission to help ensure that children have the age-appropriate education to recognize and talk about sexual abuse.
For more about Erin’s story, visit her website at www.erinmerryn.net.