Child Abuse Law Signed in New York Long After Diocese’s Adoption

The Tablet (Newspaper of the Brooklyn Diocese)

September 8, 2019

By Andrew Pugliese

PARK SLOPE — Fourteen years after the Diocese of Brooklyn began to offer programs in parishes and schools to prevent sexual abuse of minors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed “Erin’s Law” on Aug. 29, requiring public schools in New York state to have a similar program.

Public schools will be required to provide at least one hour of instruction every school year to children in kindergarten through eighth grade about what constitutes abuse and how to report it. The law, which was passed by both the New York state senate and assembly in June, is named after Erin Merryn, a sexual abuse survivor turned advocate.

The diocese has been offering such programs since 2005 through Child Lures Prevention for children and Virtus for adults. Nationally, the training has been taking place in Catholic schools and faith formation programs since after the country’s bishops adopted the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” in 2002.

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