Erin Merryn received the "Champion for Children Award" from the Children's Advocacy Center during a surprise presentation at the Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale on Monday.
The Schaumburg native helped pass "Erin's Law," which went into effect in January. It mandates sexual abuse awareness programs in all Illinois schools.
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Merryn was abused as a child and has dedicated her time to making sure other children don't have to go through what she did.
Richard Calica, director of Department of Child and Family Services, said at the presentation that Merryn is a "loud unwavering voice" and "is forcing eyes to open" to the issue of child abuse.