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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012


Speaker seeks to relieve sexual abuse survivors of stigma, shame


     Rochester, Mich. – Erin Merryn, a victim of childhood sexual abuse, an author and a nationally recognized speaker, will visit Oakland University on Thursday, Oct. 18, in an effort to expand awareness of current issues tied to this form of abuse, as well as to encourage victims to speak out.

     Merryn's presentation, "Stolen Innocence to Fearlessness and Forgiveness," will focus on her own journey, which began at the age of 6. Today, she travels across the country working to take the stigma and shame off of sexual abuse survivors and give them a reason to speak.

     In addition to numerous speaking engagements, she has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, the Montel Williams show, CNN and Good Morning America. Newspapers and magazines she has appeared in include Time magazine, Cosmo, the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald.

     "Oakland University is taking a proactive approach to the issue of child sexual abuse," said Jean Ann Miller, OU's director of the Center for Student Activities. "Erin Merryn is helping give survivors a voice by sharing her story publicly, but also in spreading Erin's law."

     Already enacted in five states, Erin's law mandates that school districts implement age-appropriate education programs on sexual abuse for pre-k through fifth-grade students. These programs are geared toward sexual abuse prevention, but also teach children to speak out when it occurs. The Michigan State Senate passed such a law this summer.

     Merryn's presentation, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 in Oakland Center Banquet Room A. For interactive and printable maps of the Oakland University campus, visit oakland.edu/map.

     For more information or to request special assistance to attend the presentation, contact the Center for Student Activities at (248) 370-2400 or e-mail to csa@oakland.edu. Additional information can also be found at oakland.edu/csa.

     To learn more about Erin Merryn or Erin's law visit her website at erinmerryn.net.

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Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 139 bachelor's degree programs and 127 graduate degree and certificate programs. Dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the Web at oakland.edu.

 





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