ALBANY – Schools in New York State will soon be teaching students child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention under a new law signed this week.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Erin’s Law on Thursday which requires students in kindergarten through eighth grade to learn about the warning signs of exploitation and sex abuse.
Officials say the lessons are practical and age appropriate.
“Sexual abuse is a nationwide epidemic that has inflicted unimaginable pain on countless children, and we must use every lever at our disposal to stop it,” said Governor Cuomo. “Many children who have been a victim of these horrific crimes or who are still suffering from abuse don’t have the information or emotional tools they need to fight back.”
“By requiring schools to teach kids how to recognize and ultimately thwart this heinous behavior, we are giving our most vulnerable New Yorkers a voice and empowering them to protect themselves.”
Erin’s Law is named for Erin Merryn, an abuse survivor and activist against child sexual abuse who has advocated for similar laws nationwide for over a decade.
The law will take effect on July 1, 2020.