LANSING, Mich. — A state board will continue its mission to help prevent sexual abuse and domestic violence in Michigan under a new law backed by Sen. John Proos.
“The heinous crimes of domestic violence and sexual assault have long-lasting impacts on victims, their families and our entire society,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I strongly support continuing our state efforts to constantly review domestic and sexual violence in Michigan, keep lawmakers informed about the scale of the problem, and offer policy and funding solutions that will help combat these crimes and provide better outcomes for victims.”
In December 2012, Gov. Rick Snyder issued Executive Order No. 2012-17, which renamed an existing state board as the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board and added sexual abuse and prevention to its mission.
Public Act 281 of 2018 codifies the executive order and establishes the board in state law. It also requires the board to advise the Legislature and governor on the magnitude and nature of domestic and sexual violence and to recommend solutions to improve the conditions for victims.
The new law builds on Proos’ efforts to help prevent the sexual abuse of children in Michigan. Enacted in 2012, Erin’s Law allows school boards to adopt and implement age-appropriate policies and training addressing child sexual abuse and create a one-time task force to make recommendations on how to best protect children from sexual abuse.
The law was named after Erin Merryn, a sexual abuse survivor from Illinois whose advocacy in her home state led to the passage of a similar law there in 2011.
“I sponsored Erin’s Law to help protect every Michigan child from sexual abuse,” Proos said. “The goal remains to stop all abuse by educating children about sexual abuse so they can recognize it and be empowered to report it.
“This board will continue the important task of constantly reviewing our laws and programs to ensure we are doing everything possible to end sexual abuse and domestic violence.”
Note: Audio comments by Proos are available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.