Erin's Law

Erin's Law

In January of 2013, a law that enlarged the scope of child sexual abuse prevention was signed by the state of Illinois. This law is called Erin’s Law (Public Act 097-1147) and is designed to enhance previous legislation that already included this type of education for 6-12 graders. Now, the law includes PreK-5th-grade education.   Erin’s Law requires that all public schools implement a prevention-oriented child sexual abuse awareness program for students, which teaches:

*Age- appropriate (each grade uses resources and words that are age appropriate) techniques to recognize inappropriate touch and child sexual abuse 
*The skills to help children tell a trusted adult if something bad happens to them or to someone else they know
*Training for school administrators
*Child sexual abuse prevention training for certified non-administrative school personnel

Grades K-2: 

This program, consisting of two 30-minute sessions, is designed to carefully acquaint young students with safe/unsafe touches, what to do if abuse is experienced and develop a plan for safety. Age appropriate activities, including a storybook and worksheets, along with discussions, will help students understand the concepts of body ownership, the difference between secrets and surprises, and the importance of telling trusted adults.

Grades 3-5:
  
These two 30- minute sessions will feature a story, worksheet and discussion with students regarding body ownership, basic safety rules, safe and unsafe touches, how to handle dangerous/abusive situations, the difference between secrets and surprises and telling trusted adults. 

Middle School Health:

Topics in middle school include Erin’s Law, Dating Violence and Sexual Assault (and subtopics thereof). In regards to Erin’s Law a review of the major components of bad, good and secret touch is included.  Students also review how bribes, threats, lies and secrets can be used to coerce someone into doing something they do not want to do. We outline what to do and who to go to in order to get help. Reporting to trusted adults until help is received is paramount.  Consent is defined and described at this age including the basics: Consent is freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic and specific. Sexual abuse, assault, sexual violence, sexual harassment and rape are differentiated for students. Consent is brought into each of the topics to underscore its importance. Ample time is allotted for students’ questions.

Resources:

I Said No! A kid-to-kid guide to keeping private parts private
By Zack and Kimberly King

Do You Have A Secret? 
By Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

Fred the Fox Shouts “No!”
By Tatiana Y. Kisil Matthews

Your Body Belongs to You 
By Cornelia Spelman

This is My Body and It Belongs to Me!
By Alisha Hawthorne-Martinez, LCSW

Let’s Talk About It: My Body is Special
By LaKeesha Walrond, Ph.D

A Touching Book...for little people and for big people….
By Jan Hindman

The Children’s Advocacy Center 
Erin’s Law
Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center

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