Survivor of child sex abuse named Woman of the Year

New York readers of Glamour Magazine may have already read that Erin Merryn was recently named the Woman of the Year. Merryn’s story is unique, however, in that her fame has come after a personal tragedy. Merryn was twice preyed upon by men in her life and has survived child sexual abuse. Now 27 years old, Merryn has been an outspoken advocate for education surrounding child sexual abuse.

Merryn is best known for her work toward getting Erin’s Law passed in all 50 states. Though New York has not yet passed the bill, she has managed to get four other states to create educational programs about sexual abuse prevention. Merryn hopes that these programs will help children recognize that sexual assault is not their fault and to get them to talk about any kinds of inappropriate sexual contact they experience. Merryn doesn’t want young children to wait until they are much older before they finally tell someone about the abuse they suffered.

Merryn’s advocacy directly related to her own experiences as a child. Between the ages of six and eight, her friend’s uncle had molested and raped her. Then, several years later, an older cousin started to sexually assault her. Though she recognized that what had happened was wrong, it was not until her younger sister told her that she too had been molested by their cousin that she broke her silence.

No child or adult in New York should ever face sexual assault, but, unfortunately, many do. In fact, Glamour Magazine says 300,000 reports of sexual assault are filed by children every year. Often times, there are individuals who can be held accountable, from the people who commit the abuse to the people who should have been supervising the children. When these horrible situations do happen, a New York sexual assault victim attorney may be able to make the people responsible pay for failing to prevent the abuse.

Source: Glamour Magazine, “Erin Merryn: the guardian angel,” Erin Zammett Ruddy

Our law firm works hard to provide survivors of sexual assault with compassionate and zealous advocacy. Learn more about our work by visiting our New York City rape victim page.