In an effort to help parents protect their children, Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently joined with Parents for Megan’s Law to host a sexual abuse prevention seminar at the Commack High School. The free seminar included tips for parents that will help them teach their children how to avoid sexual predators.
The "Apple of My Eye" program was developed by Parents for Megan’s Law and is based on the work of Executive Director Laura Ahearn. During the two-hour meeting, Kerry Walsh, educator for Parents for Megan's Law, presented the parents with safety rules children should be taught, the red flags to look for to detect inappropriate behavior, the various traps sexual predators use to access children and the physical and behavioral signs of sexual abuse.
Parents For Megan's Law is a not-for-profit national community and victim's rights organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of childhood sexual abuse. The group provides education, advocacy, counseling, policy and legislative support services.
Senator Flanagan has worked with Parents for Megan's Law in the past to fight sexual abuse. In January, they worked together to gain passage of lifetime registration for sexual predators.
Due to that successful fight, offenders who are ranked as level two or level three offenders will now be required to register on the Megan’s Law registry for life. Level one offenders will be required to register for twenty years. This change stopped over 3,500 offenders from dropping off the registry by the end of this year.
"Preventing child sexual abuse requires that we take a comprehensive approach that includes enacting strong laws and educating parents and children about what they can do to protect themselves from sexual predators," said Executive Director Ahearn. "Senator Flanagan’s commitment to child protection is demonstrated not only by his legislative successes but also by the proactive role he takes in coordinating safety forums such as these."
"This program will provide the parents who attended with the tools they need to better protect their children from this crime. Parents are truly the first line of defense that children have and it is important that they have all the information available," stated Senator Flanagan. "Whether it is fighting this crime through strengthening our laws or working together to educate our parents and children, it is our collective job to fight sexual abuse and I appreciate everything that Parents for Megan's Law does for all of us."
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