TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This morning, the Lauren’s Kids foundation kicked off a 42+ hour continuous advocacy walk at the Florida Capitol to honor the 42 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse living in the U.S. today. The “42 Hours” event will close out National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month by bringing advocates, survivors and state leaders together to walk inside the walls of the Florida Capitol while raising awareness and advocating for change.
“We are walking together over the next 42+ hours to honor survivors, advocate for change, and bring awareness to something we know unfortunately impacts 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys before they graduate high school,” said Senator Lauren Book, Founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids. “Every 98 seconds, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted – which means that over the course of the next 42 hours, more than 1,500 people will be victimized. We will be shining a light for each one of those survivors to help amplify the messages of prevention, hope, and healing.”
Every 15 minutes, walkers will light a candle on a wall of the “42 Hours” display to symbolize the 10 survivors of sexual assault who were victimized during that time.
“The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence works to ensure victims and survivors have a voice in the Florida Capitol, and to ensure prevention and treatment programs are present in communities throughout the state,” says Jennifer Dritt, Executive Director of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, a “42 Miles” event partner. “Even if we do not realize it, statistically, each one of us knows someone who has experienced sexual violence – and each one of us likely knows a perpetrator, too. It is up to us all to educate ourselves and become a part of the solution.”
Armed with the knowledge that 95 percent of childhood sexual abuse is preventable through education and awareness, Lauren’s Kids offers families, schools, and youth-serving organizations free tools and EMMY Award-winning video lessons to help teach personal safety from a place of fun and not fear. The Foundation has also created free resources for survivors, including the Guide to Hope & Healing, which helps families navigate the time following a child’s disclosure of sexual abuse.
This will be Lauren’s Kids’ third year hosting the “42 Hours” event, an offshoot of the Foundation’s 1,500-mile “Walk in My Shoes” statewide awareness walk from Key West to Tallahassee, completed annually from 2010-2018. To learn more and watch the “42 Hours” event livestream, visit the homepage of www.laurenskids.org.