Legislation

Speaking Out Safely supports the following legislation offered into the Massachusetts State House in the 2015-2016 Legislation Session by Protect Mass Children.

 

Erin’s Law will give children a fighting chance, a voice, and the tools to help protect themselves.  It should be passed in all 50 states. Common sense.
  It’s as simple as that.
Actress Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)

 

What does Erin’s Law do?

Erin’s Law provides continuing professional development activities, which include participating in or presenting at in-service training programs on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention. Provides that the Educational Curriculum requires age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education in grades Pre-kindergarten through 12th grades along with training school staff on the prevention of sexual abuse.  Effective immediately.  In Massachusetts, we are extending preventative education into the 351 communities in Massachusetts.

  • 19 states have passed the law as of August 2014
  • 18 more states are introducing Erin’s Law 2014-2015

 

States which have passed Erin’s Law

  • Governor Quinn Illinois signed first version of Erin’s Law creating task force February 14, 2011
  • Illinois January 24, 2013
  • Missouri July 14, 2011
  • Indiana April 11, 2012
  • Maine in May 2012
  • Michigan January 2013
  • Arkansas April 2013
  • Mississippi April 2013
  • Nevada May 2013
  • New Mexico February 2014
  • Utah March 2014
  • Tennessee March 2014
  • New Hampshire April 2014
  • Connecticut May 2014
  • Louisiana June 2014
  • South Carolina June 2014
  • Rhode Island June 2014
  • Pennsylvania June 2014
  • California August 2014
  • Vermont has required what Erin’s Law does in every school.

 

If we don’t pass this bill … these are the consequences

  • Children will continue to be sexually abused at the rate of 1/4 girls, 1/5 boys, and most will live in silence for many years with some people, NEVER speaking of their abuse.  Statistics estimate that about 90% of abuse goes unreported.
  • Long term, ongoing sexual abuse of repeat perpetrators will continue.  And those perpetrators will keep perpetrating until they are incapacitated or die.  Less than 2-3% of sex offenders are ever convicted and serve time.  And to be caught, one study illustrates that a sex offender will perpetrate 117 incidences before they are caught sexually abusing children.
  • From a financial perspective – Prevent Child Abuse America estimates the cost of child abuse in Massachusetts to be over $1.8 billion annually.  This figure is to respond to the abuse of an estimated 24,450 children at a cost of nearly $74,000 each.  These include direct costs, e.g. acute medical care, mental health care, child welfare services, law enforcement, as well as indirect costs, such as special education, early intervention, emergency/transitional housing, juvenile and adult criminal justice costs and lost worker productivity.  Financially, preventing sexual abuse is a smart solution to the growing financial instability of this state.

 

If you do pass this bill

  • You will be heroes for every child across the Commonwealth.  You will be my hero.
  • Primary prevention will be in put place — children and parents will know how to protect themselves from those who groom and sexually abuse children.  Greater communities will also be empowered.
  • If a child has been sexually abused – parents, children and educators will have the education, knowledge and understanding to identify behaviors that point to sexual abuse and know how to report any and all incidences.
  • Incidences of sexual abuse will go down.  Reporting will go up.  Parents and Educators will be empowered.  Children will be protected.