From Tracie: Erin Merryn Is Living For Today and So Much More

Monday, October 04, 2010

Erin Merryn Is Living For Today and So Much More

Today I want to tell you about my incredible friend Erin. 
Erin Merryn is a survivor, advocate, author, and truth speaker.

Stolen Innocence
Speaking with her pink diary

At age 19, Erin published her first book, Stolen Innocence. It is a memoir taken straight from the pages of her diary.

Erin's cousin Brian started sexually abusing her when she was eleven years old, and that abuse continued until she was thirteen. Stolen Innocence chronicles Erin's life from 11 to 18. Reading it, you see a child turn into a women, while navigating through depression, flashbacks, self-injury, counseling and forgiveness.

After Stolen Innocence was published, Erin Merryn  went to college to get a degree in social work. She had a published book, speaking engagements, television interviews, an eating disorder, and a secret she had never told anyone. Erin knew that she would have to release this secret if she was going to be able to move forward. She began writing and journaling. Her second book, Living for Today was born out of that writing.

This is her secret, when Erin was six years old, she was raped by her best friend Ashley's uncle.  After the rape, Erin stood outside and pinky promised Ashley that she would never tell anyone, because Ashley's uncle had told her if anyone found out they would loose their house. Erin kept that promise until 2007, when she broke her silence to her mom, and eventually to the police in an official report.

Living For Today is a powerful book. The subtitle is: From Incest and Molestation to Fearlessness and Forgiveness. That really speaks the heart of the book, and Erin's journey. I don't want to give any more of it away, because you have to read it for yourself, but I will just say that no matter what happens to Erin, she walks through it with grace and strength that is an inspiration.

Erin Merryn continues to travel the country speaking and advocating for survivors. She is also focused on Erin's Law, which would require that elementary schools educate children, in an age appropriate manner, about sexual abuse - safe/unsafe touch, safe/unsafe secrets, how to get away, and how to tell!

The Clothesline Project event at
Northern Illinois University
Speaking in Washington DC at the
 National Leadership Conf. 2010

Do you want to get involved with Erin's Law? It is as easy as a phone call. The Illinois State Senate already passed it. In November, the House will meet and it is important that Erin's Law SB2843 is brought up for a vote. You can contact the Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and tell him why Erin's Law is so important, and ask him to bring it up for a vote during the November veto session.

Michael Madigan Speaker of the House
6500 S. Pulaski Rd. Chicago, Il 60629
(773) 581-8000 (topic of email: Erin's Law SB2843)

After Erin's Law passes in Illinois, Erin plans to take it national, but it is important to get it passed at the state level first. One day I know that I will proudly cheer when Erin's Law goes nationwide and children all over America are educated about sexual abuse. It won't prevent abusers from abusing, but it will give children a voice, knowledge of what to do if it happens, and a chance to make it stop!

I can't encourage you enough to read Erin's books, she is an inspiring woman. 

You can find her at her blog, and on twitter. One other exciting place that you can find Erin Merryn this week is on Oprah. Erin will be on Oprah Wednesday, October 6th to talk about Living for Today and Erin's Law! It is a powerful interview that you don't want to miss, so set your DVRs or VCRs to record it if you won't be home that day.


  1. You bet! She is AWESOME!
    Seriously, everything she had to go through and she is still ending up on TOP...Woo to the HOO! for Erin that is.
    Where are yooou?
    I still have no comments on my spirit post...
    C'mon get off your Monday butt and cheer me ON....*sigh*

  2. Wow - thanks for sharing her story - She is certainly awesome!!

  3. What an amazing story - how unlucky can you be to go through so many terrible experiences at such a young age and how devastating that must have been and yet here is this girl who has come through it all and now wants to help others avoid the same pitfalls. Thank you for sharing this story.

  4. What a wonderful lady! I will be watching her on Oprah.

  5. Hi
    thanks for visiting me on meet me on Monday. the post about Erin was very touching.
    now following you.

  6. How cool is this young lady!!! She'll really be getting the publicity being on Oprah too! Good for her for being a voice of strength!

  7. Amazing strength and sharing her story is going to help so many. What an inspiration!

  8. What an inspiration she is! I love seeing people turning bad things into good and helping others.