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Abuse survivor walks from Key West to Tallahassee

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Abuse survivor walks from Key West to Tallahassee
Lauren Book during her annual walk across the state of Florida to raise awareness for victims of childhood sexual abuse

Lauren Book during her annual walk across the state of Florida to raise awareness for victims of childhood sexual abuse

This is a heartbreaking story, but a proud one. Heartbreaking because it involves a childhood sexual abuse survivor. Proud because she has created an organization to help other victims and to prevent it from scarring more children.

Tomorrow, Lauren Book will start her annual Walk in My Shoes walk from Key West to Tallahassee — 1,500 miles — for the fifth year in a row to call attention to child sex abuse. Each day of her walk that will take her until April 22 to complete, she invites volunteers and other walkers to join her and raise awareness and funds for her the cause and her organization, Lauren’s Kids. Click here to see if your Florida county is the site of a walk, rally, safety fair or other event and to sign up to walk or volunteer. The Miami Heat team will walk with Book on Friday, March 21!

Book’s Walk in My Shoes event is timely because March is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Under Book’s leadership, the organization Lauren’s Kids has developed a curriculum used in Florida public kindergartens in and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) programs. Families can also access a free parent tool kit featuring video tips on the site. In addition to education, Lauren’s Kids has helped enact Florida state laws that deal with sexual abuse — necessary because in the United States, one in three girls and one in five boys will be sexual abuse victims before age 18.

If you are on Twitter or Instagram, you can follow the Walk in My Shoes campaign and events with the hashtag #WhyIWalk.

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