Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed State Senator Alessandra Biaggi’s bill “Erin’s Law” into law on Thursday, August 29. The bill requires the Commissioner of Education to make recommendations to the Board of Regents relating to instruction on preventing child sexual exploitation and abuse in grades Kindergarten through 8th. The goal is to provide training for children to identify and appropriately respond to sexual abuse.
Until gaining a Democratic majority in the Senate, “Erin’s Law” had previously been stalled in the New York State legislature for eight years. New York is the 37th state to pass the law.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester) issued the following statement:
“The passage of ‘Erin’s Law’ in New York state is a monumental win that is long overdue. For years lawmakers and advocates fought for our children’s access to critical preventative resources to stop childhood sexual abuse, and today that battle is finally won. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it has been an honor to carry this bill and fight like hell to give future generations the tools I didn’t have to protect themselves against harm and lasting trauma. I thank Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for their support in ushering this bill into law, and Erin Merryn for her never-ending commitment to bringing safety to youth across the nation. Today New York becomes the 37th state to invest in curriculum that will empower students to speak up if they feel unsafe, bringing us one step closer to stopping childhood sexual abuse once and for all.”