Symbolic image abuse © 271 EAK MOTO (shutterstock)
Bishops in New York state welcome bill to establish mandatory sex abuse education classes. In the future, students up to eighth grade should participate in prevention classes.
The bill, known as "Erin's Law," achieved near unanimity in New York's legislature in June. At the end of August, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo ratified it.
The new legislation is an "important tool for protecting children from sexual abuse," New York Conference of Catholic Bishops spokesman Dennis Poust has now said. The bishops are proud to support this law – especially because it is designed to prevent abuse in the first place, he said.
Law named after former abuse victim
The law is named after Erin Merryn, a former abuse victim who now works as an attorney. It aims to make school-based sex education programs mandatory by law in as many U.S. states as possible.
The new scheme will provide students with practical, age-appropriate instructions on how to recognize warning signs of sexual abuse and get help. "Erin's Law" follows the Child Victims Act, which took effect in New York in mid-August and significantly raises the statute of limitations for civil abuse claims.