skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, March 4, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Erin's Law: Teaching Arkansas Kids It's OK to Report Abuse

play audio
Play

Wednesday, May 22, 2013   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The task force being created under Arkansas' new "Erin's Law" is expected to be assembled soon and convene for the first time this summer.

State Rep. John Baine, D-El Dorado, said the panel will look at the best ways to teach children who are being sexually abused that they need to tell a trusted adult - such as a nurse, guidance counselor or educator.

"If something is being done to them, I want them to raise their hand and tell their teacher," Baine said. "That's basically our bottom-line goal, and that way, mandated reporters under Arkansas law will immediately contact the authorities per the protocols in every school district."

In addition to explaining to children how to speak up, the law also aims to teach the teachers what to look for, according to its namesake, Erin Merryn.

"Teaching the educators what they need to be trained on," she said. "Looking for warning signs. How to respond when a kid reports this. Looking for the red flags in a kid that's showing the signs of abuse."

Merryn has been trying to bring the law nationwide after she and her sister suffered sexual abuse as children - and, as with a majority of victims, it was by someone they knew and trusted.

"It wasn't by the 'stranger danger' we were warned about every year in school," she said. "We knew not to go look for a lost puppy, but when a family member was abusing both of us, the only message we got came from the perpetrator: 'This is our secret. No one will believe you. Stay silent.' And that's what most kids get."

Among the places where victims can turn are the 13 Children's Advocacy Centers across Arkansas. Last year alone, they interviewed nearly 3,700 children who were victims of abuse, neglect and maltreatment.

After the task force has identified any shortcomings and reviewed which age-based curriculum is the most effective, implementation will follow - either through the state Department of Education or with proposals in the 2015 Legislature.

Arkansas is the seventh state to adopt Erin's Law.

The bill's text is online at arkleg.state.ar.us. More information on Merryn and Erin's Law is at erinmerryn.net.



get more stories like this via email

more stories
A study by Wallethub ranked Kentucky 43rd in the nation for residents' dental health. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A bill moving through the Kentucky Legislature would make fluoride treatment in drinking water optional for local municipalities. House Bill 141 …


Social Issues

play sound

Most teenagers eagerly anticipate turning 16 to start driving and 21 for other milestones, but the significance of obtaining the right to vote at 18 …

Social Issues

play sound

New York state lawmakers have appointed members to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies, created through legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul …


A National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy report illustrated how some wealth was built through discriminatory practices including racially restrictive deed covenants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report argued many charitable foundations need to examine the origin of their wealth and repair harms done. The National Committee for …

Environment

play sound

A proposed urban reforestation program in Massachusetts aims to help cities mitigate the effects of climate change. Legislation would create a state …

One in four Wyoming kids lives in single-parent families, according to Wyoming Community Foundation data. Such children are more likely to live in poverty compared with their peers in married-parent families. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A Wyoming nonprofit is helping single mothers climb out of poverty by connecting them with the training and support they need to step into and succeed…

Social Issues

play sound

Ahead of Super Tuesday, a new poll finds a majority of Mainers support replacing the Electoral College system with a national popular vote. More …

Social Issues

play sound

Even though March is barely underway, parents of Wisconsin kids are being encouraged to plan for summer reading activities - especially if their …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021