Lauren Book, M.S. Ed, is an internationally respected and renowned child advocate, former classroom teacher, best-selling author, and Florida State Senator. She is also one of 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse living in the U.S. today.
Because of her experience, Book founded Lauren’s Kids, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation, a decade ago in 2007. Under Ms. Book’s leadership, the organization works to create a world where the exploitation of children is not tolerated. Over her years of service to victims of abuse, Lauren has successfully advocated for the passage of more than two dozen state and national laws to protect victims and keep predators at bay — including the nation’s toughest mandatory reporting laws, child safety zones and ending the Statute of Limitations for prosecution of sexual crimes committed against children. Book has walked more than 10,000 miles across the state of Florida, trekking 1,500 miles from Key West to Tallahassee annually from 2000 to 2018, to raise awareness about sexual abuse and to allow survivors an outlet to speak out about their experiences. Since becoming a mother to twins, her annual “Walk in My Shoes” walk across Florida has evolved into a 42+ hour walk in the Rotunda of the Florida Capitol in honor of the 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse living in the U.S. today.
In addition to her advocacy work, Book is committed to empowering children to protect themselves against abuse. A former classroom teacher, Book developed the first of its kind Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 abuse prevention and personal safety curriculum program, Safer, Smarter Schools, to provide children with the necessary tools to recognize safe and unsafe situations, avoid traps set by predators, and speak up if they feel unsafe or are being victimized. The curriculum program is currently being used across the state of Florida, the country, and the world in more than 65,000 classrooms – arming 5 million children with safety education each year.
Book is also an accomplished author, chronicling her years of abuse in her memoir, It’s OK to Tell, which sheds light on the truth about abuse and the healing journey that a victim goes through to become a survivor. Her most recent book, Lauren’s Kingdom, is a Publisher Weekly Award-winning children’s picture book that imparts this important lesson to children: “If you’re choking back tears and your heart’s full of fears, you know very well, it’s OK to tell.”
As an internationally renowned spokesperson, Book is an advocate for change and regularly comments on breaking national news. Book has been featured on hundreds of news outlets including Our America with Lisa Ling on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, the Associated Press, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, CNN, FOX, BBC, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, GLAMOUR, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.
She is also a five-time EMMY Award-winning and one-time Gracie Award-winning television producer for 30-minute television specials and Public Service Announcements, and her curriculum program has won national ADDY Award recognition.
Book was born and raised in South Florida where she currently resides and directs Lauren’s Kids. She is a member of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, Human Trafficking Statewide Council Direct Service Organization, and the Florida State Senate. She graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Creative Writing and a master’s degree in Community Psychology and Social Change.