Sen. Lauren Book’s Annual Walk Raises Awareness for Child Sexual Abuse

As we prepare to welcome the spring season, there’s another important event on the horizon that deserves our attention. This April, Senator Lauren Book, the Senate Democratic Leader from Plantation, will be embarking on her annual trek from South Florida to the Panhandle. But this is no ordinary walk. It’s a journey of purpose and passion, a mission to bring attention to one of the most underreported crimes in our society – child sexual abuse.

Walk in My Shoes: A Journey for Justice

The event at the heart of this mission is “Walk in My Shoes,” an annual trek across Florida. Launched by Lauren’s Kids, a charity Book founded in 2010, the walk aims to raise awareness about child sexual abuse and support those who have suffered this unthinkable crime.

This year’s walk, beginning on April 3, will cover a whopping 1,500 miles, starting from the Southernmost Point of the U.S. in Key West and ending in Panama City on April 27. The nearly month-long journey will include more than 20 stops at various locations, including sexual assault treatment centers, children’s advocacy centers, child protection units, and local schools.

Shining a Light on a Dark Issue

The statistics surrounding child sexual abuse are indeed staggering. According to Book, one in three girls and one in five boys will suffer sexual abuse before they graduate high school. Furthermore, one in five children who use a digital device will be sexually solicited online.

But there’s a silver lining to this dark cloud. As Book points out, 95% of child sexual abuse is preventable with education and awareness. That’s the primary goal of the “Walk in My Shoes” event – to educate communities and empower survivors. It’s an opportunity for them to step into the shoes of a survivor and understand their pain and struggles.

From Victim to Victor: Senator Book’s Personal Story

Senator Book’s determination to fight against child sexual abuse is fueled by her personal experience. She herself is a survivor, victimized by her childhood nanny. Despite being the daughter of one of the state’s most influential lobbyists, she fell prey to this crime, proving that child sexual abuse doesn’t discriminate based on income levels or affluence.

Book’s experience underscores the importance of education and awareness in preventing child sexual abuse. During the walk, she plans to visit classrooms and teach lessons from her foundation’s Emmy Award-winning “Safer, Smarter Kids” and “Safer, Smarter Teens” programs. These programs are aimed at educating kids about personal safety and abuse prevention.

In conclusion, child sexual abuse is a grave issue that requires our immediate attention and action. Senator Book’s annual “Walk in My Shoes” event is a powerful initiative that propels us in the right direction, promoting education and awareness. As we mark National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, let’s join hands to support this cause and make our communities safer for our children.

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