Tonight's special guest is Debra Betesh from New York City, a social activist who created the 'Precious Child Act,' a bill against sexual abuse to ensure safety for New York's children. Debbie was inspired when a community member near and dear to her heart who'd been sexually abused as a child later took his own life. She explains, "The 'Precious Child Act' will step in to defend the wellbeing of our children and mandate instruction on important matters." Debbie points out, "The current public school curriculum mandates instruction on child abduction, but does not teach children about sexual abuse. This is where the Precious Child Act will step in." She says, "By approving this act, children will be educated about sexual abuse in school." Here are detailed explanations of the act's three sections: Part I mandates automatic DNA testing for anyone arrested for the sexual assault of a child under 13 years old. Part II mandates child sexual abuse education in New York State's curriculum. Students in sixth through eighth grade would receive instruction via the state-approved video, 'Child Sexual Predators: The Familiar Stranger'. Part III will be Erin Merryn's Law. This law will require schools to add age-appropriate education on sexual exploitation and abuse when they are taught about abduction. Children in grades kindergarten through eighth will benefit from this education. Debbie invites all activists, parents and survivors to attend a rally in Albany on Feb 24th at the New Your State Capitol building. As she explains explains. "By joining forces with the Precious Child Act, we will be proactive about children's safety. Eventually, I'd like to get this act passed nationwide, because I know it will truly make a difference."
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