There are so many abuse survivors and advocates around the world who have turned their darkest moments into their brightest light, shining the way for others. Children and adults alike are changing the world through their dedication to spreading awareness and promoting healing for survivors. Our “Advocacy in Action” series features people who have been inspired by Lauren’s Kids and impacted by Lauren’s advocacy, and have carried the spark she lit forward into their own lives and communities. We hope you enjoy reading their stories…
Advocacy in Action: Surrounded by Support
Chris and Chuck S.
Ninety percent of people with a disability suffer some form of sexual abuse in their lifetimes. Chris is a young man with a disability who was abused by his stepfather. Chris has been able to make the transition from victim to survivor because of the support from his biological father, Chuck.
Chuck learned about the Lauren’s Kids foundation at the 2012 Walk in My Shoes event. Encouraged by Lauren’ story, Chris walked up to her to learn how he could help. Lauren spoke with him about the Lauren’s Kids foundation and the ways he could help survivors heal and raise awareness about childhood sexual abuse.
Inspired by Chris’ story, Lauren’s Kids successfully advocated for increased penalties for those who sexually assault individuals with developmental delays and disabilities. Chuck learned that the power of advocacy could help survivors like Chris heal and move forward with their lives. His inspiration comes from seeing the change a group of passionate people can make.
“For me, it’s great because I know that there are a lot of good people out there to help, support and lead us,” says Chuck. “We are not alone in this fight. It’s been really good for my son, because it has empowered him to know that he is a survivor, and you have to talk about things and tell the truth.”
At the 2013 Walk in My Shoes event, Chris was able to stand on the steps of the Florida Capitol with Lauren. Chris proudly stood, surrounded by support, to represent himself and the other millions of children who have been sexually abused. That day Chuck and Chris shared one of their most memorable and life-changing experiences.
Chuck and Chris continue to inspire other survivors of childhood sexual abuse by sharing their story.