Family Life

Erin’s Law: Be The Voice

posted: 08/12/15
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Be The Voice

An estimated one in ten children will be the victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18. In an effort to promote education, raise awareness and advance the conversation on this important matter, TLC has partnered with two of the nation's leading abuse prevention organizations, RAINN and Darkness to Light to address the issue.


Founded in 2000, Darkness to Light (D2L) a nonprofit organization with the mission to empower people to prevent child sexual abuse. Our work is guided by our vision to create a world for children where child sexual abuse does not exist. We believe protecting children is an adult responsibility and that education is critical for prevention efforts as well as a catalyst for larger cultural change. Our immediate focus is to make child sexual abuse prevention a national priority. We work to end child sexual abuse by educating, raising awareness, sharing resources and through fostering a network of committed prevention advocates. Through our Stewards of Children program, Darkness to Light has trained nearly one million adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

To download D2L's 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children in English click here, in Spanish click here.

For D2L's tips on how to talk to your kids click here.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of "America's 100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. In 2015, the Online Hotline expanded to offer services in Spanish at RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.


Erin's Law will educate children in public schools on sexual abuse prevention through age appropriate curriculum through role plays, discussions, activities, and books giving children the tools to speak up and tell if anyone has ever touched them inappropriately rather than keep it a secret. Educating children on safe touch, unsafe touch, safe secrets, and unsafe secrets, how to get away and tell today. The same way we teach children on bully intervention, stranger danger, internet safety, and DARE yet we fail to give them a voice if someone is violating them. Unfortunately, without being educated most children will be repeatedly abused for years because often the only message they get comes from their abuser threatening them into silence. Erin's mission is to shatter the silence and stigma around sexual abuse and educate children and empower them with their voice. Erin's Law also requires educators to be trained on the prevention of child sexual abuse. Thanks to Erin's ongoing efforts, the United States Congress has introduced bipartisan legislation, called the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Act, to fund Erin's Law, or similar, school programs. The Senate has approved this legislation, and the House of Representatives is expected to vote on this legislation this fall. Erin Merryn is on a national crusade going state to state passing Erin's Law with the mission to get all 50 states teaching it.

TLC aired "Breaking The Silence," a documentary following the journey faced by those affected by child sexual abuse. You can find the full length feature here.

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