I was born at home after putting my mother through 57 hours of all natural labor 25 years ago. My incredible story of my birth is just the beginning of this life I have been given. I believe everyone is born with a purpose and I found my purpose through the events that have taken place in my life. I decided at a young age to take a stand against evil and instead expose it to put a silent epidemic in the spotlight. I turned my childhood diary into a book Stolen Innocence and self-published it when I was a senior in high school. It was republished by Health Communications Inc. in January 2005. I began flying the country telling my story of the sexual abuse I endured as a child. A story I am not ashamed of but instead inspired to put a face and voice on sexual abuse. My mission is to take the stigma and shame off of sexual abuse survivors and give them a reason to speak. To educate the public that children are being abused right now in your own communities and our own backyards. I am at war against this silent evil that is lurking in the shadows.
My media appearances have included Oprah Winfrey Show October 2010, Montel Williams in April 2006, Good Morning America in May 2006, I was a part of another Montel Williams show on most memorable guest update in July 2006. In October 2008 I was a part of a slide show on Oprah about superwomen. I have appeared in many local news station programs after speaking at an event. I have also taken part in numerous radio interviews. I appeared in a commercial for the National Children's Alliance that began airing in July 2010.
I have spoken at high schools, colleges, sexual assault centers, community events, and many events or conferences across America for Children's Advocacy Centers. I am dedicated to the work 700 Children's Advocacy Centers in America do for helping children heal. It was the very first place in my childhood I broke my silence and began sharing some of the details of what I went through. I learned there I was not at fault for what happened.
I earned my Bachelors degree in Social Work from Western Illinois University in May 2008. I graduated with my Masters in Social Work from Aurora University in May 2009. My second book Living For Today was published November 2nd 2009 and is in bookstores. I plan to put all my focus and energy into speaking engagements across America until I see the change America needs. I plan to fight to get mandated education programs in elementary schools on educating kids about abuse starting with the elementary school district I went to. While I cannot stop the evil that exists in our world I can do something to prevent kids from living in silence like me and giving them the knowledge to protect themselves. We teach kids stop, drop and roll in a fire. Yet no one teaches them safe touch and unsafe touch. Society needs to wake up and quit ignoring what so many want to avoid talking about. Avoiding the topic of sexual abuse won't make it go away and it is only going to get worse. I am one of those who will talk about it and will not let anything get in my way of bringing this epidemic in the spotlight. I am on an unstoppable crusade that has learned more in 24 years of life then I could have ever expected in a lifetime.
ERIN’S PERSONAL WEBSITE: www.erinmerryn.net
- Justice Through My Voice
- Stolen Innocence: Triumphing Over a Childhood Broken by Abuse
- Living for Today: From Incest and Molestation to Fearlessness and Forgiveness
“Ms. Merryn is an excellent public speaker and passionate advocate for children who have been sexually abused. Erin presented at our 2010 Leadership Conference and was very warmly received by our more than 300 attendees. Ms. Merryn has a message of hope for us all: that is, that we can make a difference in the life of an abused child and that it is possible to heal after abuse. There is no more inspiring message than that.”
- Teresa Huizar - Executive Director, National Children Alliance
“Erin Merryn is a powerful speaker and advocate for countless, faceless children and adults in our country who have similarly suffered sexual abuse. Her raw honesty and captivating portrayal of her experiences and struggles to disclose these experiences will inspire anyone to become more aware of child sexual abuse and involved in making our communities safer for children. Through her speeches and two books, Erin is an inspiration to professionals working daily to fight child abuse in the United States. She affirms the great work done by Children’s Advocacy Centers, and challenges everyone – professionals, parents, policy makers, adults – to work together on behalf of our children.”
- Chris Newlin National Children's Advocacy Center
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