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Advocates unite to call for sex abuse education in NY schools

Child sex abuse survivors Gary Greenberg and Erin Merryn are collaborating in an attempt to pass legislation bearing Merryn's name that would mandate sex abuse education in New York schools.

Greenberg and Merryn held a press conference in Albany Monday and met with lawmakers to discuss Erin's Law. The bill would require age-appropriate education to help children learn the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching. The curriculum would also help students learn how to report sex abuse.

When Merryn visited New York for the first time in 2011, two states had adopted Erin's Law. Eight years later, 35 states now have mandated sex abuse education in schools.

"New York could've been the third," Merryn said in a phone interview Monday. "But here we are all these years later and 35 states have passed it and New York has not."

Erin's Law received bipartisan support in the state Senate, where the chamber passed the bill on multiple occasions. But it faced hurdles in the state Assembly. Merryn blamed former Assembly Education Committee Chair Catherine Nolan for blocking the bill.

While there was bipartisan support for the bill in the Assembly, it didn't receive a floor vote.

The Citizen:
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