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I Support Erin's Law

Erin's Law passed in Illinois.

For those who haven't heard about it, “Erin’s Law” is named for Erin Merryn, who was sexually abused by both a neighbor and a cousin when she was a child. After going public about her abuse, Merryn made it her mission to advocate in favor of ensuring that children have the age-appropriate education to recognize and talk about sexual abuse. Her efforts have led to passage of a version of “Erin’s Law” in several states, including her home state of Illinois.

Please take a moment to watch this slideshow video to learn more of her story.

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Watching this slideshow video is painful... Being a father of 2 very young daughters (tho it could and does just as easily happen to young boys) really adds tears to the story. I question the content and approach in which the subject matter would be presented to young children (as with any such hard subject), but after gathering information into the presentation I am very much for this.

My daughters often say various things in reference to boyfriends, kissing, etc.. etc.. And it makes me cringe.. But at the same time, I have always prided myself on keeping a very non-judgemental / open minded report with them on any such tough subjects (including this one).

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I heard of this great method that many parents use (and I plan to implement) where they allow their children to go to a special corner in a room or have them hold onto a certain object (like a toy microphone) and by being in the "safe corner" or holding the "safe object", it gives the child the ability to say anything they want without being punished at all for it. It is a great method for kids to express guilt for something they might have done wrong, a great way for kids to vent or express frustrations they have, a great way for parents to learn more about what is going on in their day to day lives at school or away from home activities and also a great way to open the door on deep / scary secrets like the one Erin Merryn carried as a child for so many years.

Keep your kids close my friends, as their enemies are sometimes even closer. I'm sure most of you parents are just like me, living in daily fear of anything bad ever happening to them. Hold them close and make sure they know that you are a friend they can talk to rather then just a disciplinarian who will just punish them. Our world is full of real life horror and if they can't trust you, who can they trust?

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