GET BIT Investigations Team / Erin Merryn


Erin Merryn

Erin is the author of Stolen Innocence, Living for Today, and An Unimaginable Act all memoirs. Erin earned her Master’s degree in social work from Aurora University in May 2009. After suffering years of sexual abuse and rape as a child she broke her silence and found her mission in life. Erin began a crusade her senior year of high school in 2004 to end the silence and shame around sexual abuse by publishing her childhood diary into a book. She has overcome many obstacles from child abuse, a learning disability, and living daily with epilepsy. In 2010 she became the force behind Erin’s Law. A law that requires public schools to teach children on age appropriate sexual abuse prevention curriculum. She is traveling to each state capital testifying to lawmakers to pass the law. She has made it her mission to pass the law in all 50 states. More than half the country has either passed or are voting on Erin’s Law. In November 2012 Glamour Magazine named her Woman of the Year and she was honored in Carnegie Hall before 3,000 people. People Magazine named her a HEROES Among Us in April 2013 and listed her as one of fifteen women changing the world in June 2014. She has made numerous media appearances including, Oprah, Oprah Winfrey’s Network, Katie Couric, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, Fox, Jane Velez Mitchell, Montel, and Al Jazeera. She has appeared in People Magazine, Time Magazine, USA Today, London Times, Glamour Magazine, Huffington Post, Cosmo Girl Magazine, among others.

At the Podium Erin Merryn’s mission is to show others you can overcome all the obstacles life brings you and achieve anything you set your mind to as long as you believe in yourself. Sharing from her life experiences of being sexually abused as a child, being labeled with a learning disability as a teenager and diagnosed as a young adult with epilepsy Erin hasn’t allowed these challenges stop her in all she has set out to accomplish in this life. Threatened to stay silent by her abusers Erin has become a voice for the voiceless going after creating her own law, “Erin’s Law” that has either been passed or being voted on in more than half the country which requires children be educated on age appropriate personal body safety curriculum in schools.

Told in high school by her teacher and guidance counselor she would never get accepted into college not to bother applying Erin didn’t let their doubt of her ability stop her from accomplishing her dream of going to college. Five years out of high school she graduated with her Masters in Social Work. When Erin had a grand mal seizure while driving at 22 years old and told she had epilepsy it just added to her resilience but it was what doctors found in the MRI of her brain that leave her audiences speechless.


What is Erin’s Law?

Erin’s Law is named after childhood sexual assault survivor, author, speaker and activist Erin Merryn, who is the founder and President of Erin’s Law, which is registered with the State of Illinois and the IRS as a 501 (c)(4) non-profit social welfare organization. After Erin introduced the legislation in her home state of Illinois, the bill was named Erin’s Law after her by legislators and it has caught on nationwide. “Erin’s Law” requires that all public schools in each state that passes it implement a prevention-oriented child sexual abuse program which teaches:

1. Students in grades pre-K thru 5th grade, age-appropriate techniques to recognize child sexual abuse and tell a trusted adult

2. School personnel all about child sexual abuse

3. Parents & guardians the warning signs of child sexual abuse, plus needed assistance, referral or resource information to support sexually abused children and their families

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Erin appears on Oprah

Erin appears on Katie Couric


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