Lauren Book, Florida State Senator and founder of Lauren’s Kids, was a finalist in the recent CMI Change Maker “People’s Award” program. These awards celebrate people and organizations that are creating real, meaningful change for children who struggle with mental health and learning disorders. Lauren’s Kids, a charity created in 2007 to raise awareness about child sexual abuse, has successfully advocated for the passage of nearly two dozen Florida laws. With April being National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and national Child Abuse Prevention Month, advocates, legislators, state leaders, survivors, and community members joined Senator Lauren Book April 2-4 and the Lauren’s Kids Foundation to walk in the Florida Capitol in honor of the 42 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse living in the United States today. The “42 Hours” display raised awareness of sexual assault, give voice to this issue and to survivors, and help educate the public so that they may better prevent and address sexual assault.
Lauren was a victim of childhood sexual abuse for six years at the hands of her female nanny. Armed with the knowledge that 95 percent of sexual abuse is preventable through education and awareness, she has worked to turn her horrific personal experience into a vehicle to prevent childhood sexual abuse and help other survivors heal.
Lauren’s Kids, based in South Florida, educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention through in-school curricula, awareness campaigns and speaking engagements around the country and the world. The organization also leads an annual, statewide “Walk in My Shoes” awareness walk across the state of Florida – 1,500 miles from Key West to Tallahassee – and provides more than 9-10 million education and awareness materials statewide through direct mail every year.
For more information, visit LaurensKids.org