10:26 AM

Waukesha County Technical College to welcome author, activist Erin Merryn to campus April 11

10091-ErinMerryn-Newsroom-100PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Monday, March 13, 2023) -- Waukesha County Technical College will host Erin Merryn, a survivor of childhood sexual assault, on Tuesday, April 11, as part of the WCTC Speaker Series. Merryn is a well-respected and internationally recognized author, speaker and advocate, and she is the driver behind Erin’s Law, which is considered the first U.S. sexual abuse prevention education bill.

The Speaker Series event will be held on the College’s main Pewaukee campus in the Anthony J. Natalizio (AJN) Center, Building S. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m., with a light lunch to be served at 11 a.m. Merryn’s presentation, A Voice for the Voiceless, will begin at 11:35 a.m. Additionally, Merryn will hold a book signing following her presentation. Her books, “Stolen Innocence” and “An Unimaginable Act” will be available for purchase.

“We are excited to welcome Erin Merryn to our campus in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” said Sherry Simmons, WCTC’s chief diversity and compliance officer. “Erin will take the audience through her journey by sharing her experience of being sexually abused, which she documented in her childhood diary, and her fight for Erin’s Law, an international law that requires personal body safety being taught in public schools every year.”

Childhood trauma leads to education law

As a young child, ages 6 through 8, Merryn was sexually assaulted by a neighbor. A few years later, from ages 11 through 13, she experienced repeated sexual abuse from an older cousin. Both perpetrators threatened her to remain silent. Scared and confused, she kept quiet but recorded these secrets in her diary. She eventually broke her silence as a teen, the abuse came to an end and she began her first steps to healing. Those diary entries then became books where Merryn shares her private stories of abuse, how she found inner strength and resilience, and her path to empowerment.

Merryn’s personal trauma led her to push for legislation (Erin’s Law) that requires all public schools in each state to implement a prevention-oriented child sexual abuse program that teaches:

  • Students in grades preK-12th age-appropriate techniques to recognize child sexual abuse and tell a trusted adult.
  • School personnel about child sexual abuse.
  • Parents and guardians the warning signs of child sexual abuse, plus needed assistance, referral or resource information to support sexually abused children and their families.

To date, 38 states have passed Erin’s Law, with legislation pending in the remaining 12 states (including Wisconsin). For more information about this law, visit

>> This special event is free and open to the public; however, space is limited and registration is recommended

About Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 170 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs. Customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit