The Miami Herald: Sexual abuse survivor finishes 1,500-mile walk
April 23, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Child sexual abuse survivor and victim advocate Lauren Book finished a 1,500-mile walk through Florida on Tuesday, but she still has unfinished work in the Capitol.
Book sprinted to the Old Capitol to cheers as hundreds of supporters in blue shirts walked behind her. She began her walk 35 days earlier in Key West. Gov. Rick Scott, all three Cabinet members, Senate President Don Gaetz, House Speaker Will Weatherford, many lawmakers and the secretaries for the departments of Children and Families and Juvenile Justice greeted her.
“I’m so impressed with what you’ve accomplished and the awareness you’ve raised,” Scott told Book.
This is the fourth year book as walked across the state, an event that was 500 miles in 2010 and later expanded to pass through more areas of the state. Book described victims she met along the way who tearfully told the stories of being raped. One was an 18-year-old woman in Perry who had a son from a rape four years earlier, she said.
Tampa Bay Times: Molested by nanny, she spreads message of courage
April 3, 2013
Lauren Book is a survivor of childhood sex abuse at the hands of her live-in nanny in her Broward County home. In 2007, with the help of her father, she founded Lauren’s Kids to bring awareness to the public about the prevalence of sex abuse.
Wednesday morning, she and a few supporters walked along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, spreading the word to joggers, cyclists and whomever would listen. Book says she wants victims to know that it is okay to tell and to not be ashamed of what has happened to them. In the video above, she describes her mission.
Bradenton Herald: Manatee Glens Sexual Assault Awareness Day pushes tougher laws
April 2, 2013
LAKEWOOD RANCH — Survivors of child sexual abuse urged better education and stronger laws against predators during the Manatee Glens Sexual Assault Awareness Day at the same time the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee was unanimously recommending Senate Bill 1114, a bill designed to do just that.
That bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. A similar law, House Bill 7031, already passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.
Activist survivor Lauren Book walked through Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton on Monday as part of her 1,500-mile journey to the state capitol in Tallahassee to call attention to National Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. The “Walk in My Shoes 2013″ campaign is Book’s lobbying effort to improve state laws, prevent child sexual abuse and extend prosecution rights to older children in Florida.
NBC 6 South Florida:Lauren's Kids Walk Raises Sex Abuse Awareness
March 25, 2013
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.
Florida Legislature Passes Bill to Hold Sex Offenders without Bail Until First Appearance
We thank the Florida legislature for today passing HB 7035 and its companion SB 1372, which contains a provision requiring the court to hold until first appearance a defendant who has been charged with anything other than a misdemeanor traffic violation in order to determine whether the defendant has previously been convicted of an offense that would require the defendant to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator. This change, prohibiting the release of a defendant until the defendant’s sex offender registry status is determined, allows the full participation of prosecutors and we believe that it guarantees a high level of protection for the public. The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz and Sen. Rob Bradley and supported by Lauren’s Kids and the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, will now to go Governor Rick Scott’s desk to be signed into law. This is yet another example of our state leaders’ commitment to the protection of children and families in Florida, and we commend them for their great work on this issue.