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JERSEY GOVERNOR SIGNS ERIN’S LAW, PROTECTING NJ KIDS FROM ABUSE - GOV. CUOMO WATER-SKIS...

This is an opinion-editorial (Op-Ed) piece that was submitted to WVBR News, among other outlets this morning. We recognize that this piece represents one viewpoint of a polarizing topic, and we encourage anyone with a similar or contrasting viewpoint to fill out the form on WVBR News' page to submit your own Op-Ed piece on the topic.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed his state’s version of Erin’s Law into the law books last weekend, making New Jersey the 36th state to pass this federally-funded measure.  Erin’s Law mandates sexual abuse prevention education for school-aged kids. Advocates for the bill claim its impact is immeasurable since current mandatory curriculum only instructs about strangers, while over 90% of child sex abuse cases are committed by a known or trusted party.

“The Governor should prioritize the signing of this important bill.  Kids in New York have been abused and suffered for long enough. Why waste even one more day before signing the bill into law?  It’s important that we protect animals from cruel physical abuse, it’s also very important that we protect our children from sexual abuse as well,” said Albany’s Gary Greenberg, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and founder of the Fighting for Children PAC which spearheaded the effort to pass the Child Victims Act and Erin’s Law in the New York Legislature.

“The Legislature voted almost unanimously to approve this measure.  Each day the Governor goes without signing it, more kids are hurt, and more abusers go free.  Let’s end the madness today,” said George Albro, co-chair of New York Progressive Action Network, an activist group which has partnered with Greenberg in his work around Erin’s Law this session. “If Erin’s Law were in place when I was being abused, I would have known how to report what was happening to me to someone who could help.  Instead, I remained trapped in a bitter cycle of abuse, self-harm and suicidal ideations for decades during and after my abuse,” said Connie Altamirano, a survivor and mother of two who has pledged years of her life to working as an activist around passing legislation to protect and empower kids and survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Governor Cuomo, who appears to have spent the weekend at a Lake House with his Family in the Adirondack Mountains, has not returned requests for comment about the forthcoming signing of Erin’s Law.  On Monday, he signed a bill approved by the legislature in June to prohibit the declawing of cats.