A sexual abuse survivor and activist who is in the midst of a 1,500-mile walk to raise awareness and help other survivors made a stop in South Florida Monday to meet with authorities and hold a roundtable discussion.
While walking from Key West to Tallahassee in the 2013 Walk in My Shoes, Lauren Book, the founder of Lauren’s Kids, will highlight the key aspects of child sexual abuse cases in hopes of raising awareness in the community.
“I don’t even know how many miles we’ve done in the four different journeys so far but we’re about 400 or so miles on this journey going all points north and were just really excited and this has really energized me,” said Book, who overcame six years of physical and sexual abuse as a child.
Book met with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Child Protective Investigations Section Monday to discuss ways to stop sexual abuse cases in Broward.
In their roundtable discussion, state representatives, county commissioners, medical representatives and child service workers discussed how to prevent sexual abuse through awareness and education. They also discussed ways to help survivors heal through guidance and support, the BSO said.
After the discussion, Book went over to Roosevelt Garden Park, where she taught elementary students how to be safe in a sexual abuse situation. She said that they need to identify behavior by strangers that makes them feel unsafe or confused.
From March 19-April 23, Walk in My Shoes stops at various locations in Florida telling the stories of hundreds who have suffered from sexual abuse. They hope to provide awareness, hope, education and healing in sex abuse cases.
“We are all the time trying to gather information to do a better job and do a better job at advocating in the world of trying to protect children and make our community safer,” said Book’s father, Ron Book, who has been supporting her efforts.
Book will be holding similar events in Fort Lauderdale and Tamarac Tuesday. The events will end with a rally in Tallahassee April 23.
“We’re really creating a culture of safety,” Book said.
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