As a youngster in Illinois, Erin Merryn learned about stranger danger and was warned about internet safety. She was taught to stay away from drugs. The one thing she never learned about was how to deal with sex abuse, which was happening to her.
"I listened to the only message I was given," says Merryn. "And that was from the sexual predators who were raping and sexually abusing me as a child, telling me 'this is our little secret' and 'no one will believe you'."
That's why the 26 year old is now on a crusade to require schools to add child sex abuse prevention to their child abduction curriculums. And her latest stop is New York State, where Syracuse area State Senator Dave Valesky and New York City area Senator Jeffery Klein are behind her efforts. Klein doesn't think it'll be too difficult to add to the curriculum.
"If we have a curriculum to prevent abduction, we should have a curriculum to teach our young people on the tell-tale signs of touching, on what's right and what's wrong, and instill these important safety measures in them," said Klein.
Valesky and Klein says they'll introduce the law in January and hope to get it approved next year. There are no assembly sponsors yet.