A survivor of childhood sex abuse who is walking across Florida to raise awareness is making stops in South Tampa this week.
After walking in Clearwater Tuesday morning, she is scheduled to stop at Alpha House, 201 S. Tampania Ave., where she will participate in a group session. Wednesday morning, she will be at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 Franklin St. (See schedule below for details.)
The 1,500-mile walk through Florida began March 19 in Key West and will end in Tallahassee on April 23, with a rally at the state Capitol. April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Book uses her own story to taise awareness and encourage victims to speak out. She endured sexual abuse for six years at the hands of her nanny. As an adult she has worked full time to reform sexual abuse laws to help the survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
As Book travels from Key West to Tallahassee during Walk in My Shoes 2013, Book will be joined by state attorneys to advocate for a change in Florida law that would make an out-of-court statement from older child victims of sexual abuse, sometimes called "victimless" prosecution, a stronger tool in trials against their alleged abusers, as contained in HB 7031.
Book is also seeking to expand the state’s existing kindergarten abuse prevention curriculum to include grades one through five, incorporating such topics as bullying and Internet safety.
She also uses Facebook to spread her message.
Here's a look at her schedule:
Tuesday, April 2
9:00 a.m. Panel
Juvenile Welfare Board
14155 58th Street North
Clearwater, FL 33760
**Lauren will be participating in a panel discussion about child sexual abuse and welfare
11:45 a.m. Rally
Pinellas County Tax Collectors
29399 US Highway 19 North, Clearwater, FL 33761
**Lauren will be leading a rally
2:30 p.m. Group Session
201 S. Tampania Avenue
Tampa, FL 33609
**Lauren will be participating in a group session at the Alpha House
Wednesday, April 3
8:00 a.m. Walk (Loop)
Tampa Convention Center
333 S Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602
**Lauren and supporters will be walking a loop
12:30 p.m. Lunch & Learn
Mary Lee’s House
2806 N. Armenia Avenue, Suite 500
Tampa, FL 33607
**Lauren will be leading in a lunch and learn at Mary Lee’s House
3:30 p.m. Psychology Event
Nova Southeastern University (Tampa), Room 2017
3632 Queen Palm Drive
Tampa, FL 33619
**Lauren will lead a psychology seminar on child sexual abuse at NSU
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