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Local

Erin’s Law passes House, headed to Senate

SPRINGFIELD – Erin’s Law, which if passed will create sexual abuse curriculum for students across the state, cleared another hurdle Wednesday.

House Bill 6193 is in the hands of the Senate after the House voted 97-10, with three abstaining, during the veto session.

The Senate likely will vote on the bill the first week in January; if it passes, it will be sent to Gov. Pat Quinn.

The bill will establish age-appropriate sexual abuse education for K-5 students, and training for school administrators and teachers. State law already provides sexual assault awareness curriculum for high schools.

The first part of Erin’s law was signed by Quinn in February 2011; it created a task force that made recommendations to the governor and Legislature on ways to reduce child sexual abuse.

The law is named for Erin Merryn, 27, of Schaumburg, a victim of child sexual abuse and incest.

A year earlier, Merryn spoke to local prosecutors, school counselors, and law enforcement from Lee and Ogle counties at Dixon’s Shining Star Child Advocacy Center’s Crimes Against Children Conference.

There, she met with Dixon Police Chief Danny Langloss and the two talked about creating the law.

Two months after the conference, Merryn and Langloss met with state Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, and wrote the law. Retired state Rep. Jerry Mitchell, R-Sterling, co-sponsored the bill.

Langloss said Erin’s Law aims to teach “the most vulnerable” kids the difference between safe and unsafe touches, and give them the confidence to tell an adult if they have been abused.

Online

Click here to read the full text of Erin's Law

Click here to see updates on the bill's status

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