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: Her Path to ‘Survivor’
There is no designated path to take when transitioning from victim to survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Every survivor has a different story and a different path of progress. Makenzie was a young girl when her mother saw Lauren Book in Melbourne, Florida walking next to a bus with a sign that said, “Come walk with me, prevent childhood sexual abuse.” Several years later at the 2014 Walk in My Shoes event, Makenzie and her family joined the walk to let survivors know they are not alone.
Makenzie knew all too well the way a survivor needed to be supported because she, too, is a thriving survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Makenzie is a 12-year-old girl living every day without the shame of her abuse because of her decision to share her story with the world. She made this decision after hearing other survivors’ stories during the 2014 Walk in My Shoes event.
“I never thought about telling anyone about what happened to me because I thought I would be picked on or bullied,” says Makenzie. “When I was with other survivors, I felt like I wasn’t alone. I drew strength from them and decided to tell my story. By telling my story, I am freed from a secret that made me feel different from everyone else … Practice makes progress; it can’t make perfection – nothing’s perfect.”
After Makenzie’s first Walk in My Shoes experience, she knew that one person can make a positive impact, but many people can change the world. She shares her story and listens to other survivors, spreading the message that if these people can keep moving forward, then every survivor can do it.
Join advocates and survivors like Makenzie tomorrow (April 22) by walking in the Final Mile of the 2015 Walk in My Shoes journey. For more information on how you can join us on the Walk, click here!