Public Policy

Stopping Child Abuse in Real Time

Erin MerrynSeptember 14, 2017
Policies that Help Kids
A man in my home state of Illinois will spend the next 40 years behind bars as the consequence of sexually abusing his girlfriend’s daughter. The abuse started when she was just three. Sadly, this sort of tragic story is unremarkable in America. But what is remarkable is how the abuse stopped at age seven.The girl broke her silence immediately to teachers after a class presentation on personal body safety. This presentation was required under E...Continue

Extending Jenna's Law to Trafficking Victims

Jenna QuinnJuly 7, 2017
Policy + Advocacy
The first time I walked into a Children’s Advocacy Center, I was a teenager dealing with the aftermath of years of sexual abuse. The CAC helped my family and I understand what happened to me and gave us hope to get through the process of both my healing and the prosecution of my perpetrator and all that happens in between.Naturally, I thought that was where my journey with the CAC would end. But 3 years later, I found myself returning as an int...Continue

A Child’s Best Defense Is Her Voice. Here’s How We Amplify It

Erin MerrynSeptember 23, 2016
Policies That Help Kids
“A guy called Officer Friendly comes to school and teaches us not to answer the door when your parents are not home and don’t talk to strangers. They don’t teach us about people like my cousin Brian. I thought people like Brian jumped out of bushes and attacked you at night.”Those are the words out of my diary when I was 12 years old. For six years of my life I was sexually abused and raped by two different men. I didn’t break my silenc...Continue