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Home » Student Success » Health & Safety » Sexual Abuse Prevention

Sexual Abuse Prevention

Contact Information

Sexual Abuse Prevention

Andrea Wessel

The Washington State Legislature recognizes that every child should experience emotional and physical development that is free from abuse and neglect. Preventing sexual abuse of students in grades kindergarten through twelve requires defining and addressing the wide range of behaviors and experiences related to sexual violence, such as child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sex trafficking.

Erin's Law

SHB 1539 (Erin’s Law), passed by the WA legislature in 2018, addresses child sexual abuse prevention in Washington state schools. The bill named the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) as the lead agency tasked with reviewing curricula and assisting the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) with developing a coordinated program for the prevention of child sexual abuse in grades K-12.

Erin's Law Report

School-based prevention strategies for different types of sexual abuse vary considerably, depending on the age of the child receiving prevention services, the type of sexual abuse being addressed, and community and cultural contexts. Ultimately, all prevention strategies address power and control. OSPI uses sexual abuse as an umbrella term that includes the range of sexual abuse that may occur throughout childhood and adolescence.