PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A bill introduced in the Rhode Island Senate would require public schools to teach children how to prevent and fight child sexual abuse and abduction.
Bill sponsor Sen. James Doyle, a Democrat of Pawtucket, says abuse and exploitation of children can be reduced by raising awareness in young children of common dangers and warning signs.
Similar laws have been passed in five states, including Illinois, home state of the woman who has pushed for the law. Erin Merryn was raped and abused when she was a child. Her abusers warned her not to tell anyone what happened.
The bill would require that children in grades kindergarten through 8 receive age-appropriate instruction on sexual abuse and assault.
Doyle says the bill will give children the tools they need to protect themselves.