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Alaska's sexual abuse rates alarming

Posted: March 31, 2014 - 1:49pm  |  Updated: April 1, 2014 - 8:30am

I just returned from a visit to your beautiful state, where I had a wonderful time sightseeing and speaking with Legislators about House Bill 233, the Alaska version of Erin’s Law. While the scenery was amazing, I was alarmed to learn about the high rates of child sexual abuse in Alaska. In 2013, there were more alleged victims of child sexual abuse in Alaska than there are students in the larger Alaska high schools.

It is for this reason that I hope H.B. 233 will pass, mandating a K-12 age-appropriate child sexual abuse prevention curriculum to teach kids to speak up if they are being abused.

I know from my personal experience that if the only message children receive is from their abusers, then they will only know to stay silent or risk disbelief, harm to their families, or harm to themselves. If we don’t talk about it, we give all of the power and control to those who commit these horrible acts.

H.B. 233 moved out of the House Education Committee quickly last Friday morning. The bill has broad, bi-partisan support and I’m hopeful it will pass this session, making Alaska the 13th state to pass Erin’s Law.

I urge you all to contact your legislators and ask them to pass this bill!

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