Lauren Book, the founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids, was a victim of childhood sexual abuse for six years at the hands of a trusted caretaker. Armed with the knowledge that 95 percent of sexual abuse is preventable through education and awareness, Lauren created and established Lauren’s Kids as a vehicle to prevent childhood sexual abuse and help other survivors heal.
Book is an internationally respected and renowned child advocate, former classroom teacher, best-selling author, and Florida State Senator. She’s also one of 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse living in the U.S. today.
From her experience, Book founded Lauren’s Kids, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation, in 2007. Under Ms. Book’s leadership, the organization works to create a world where the exploitation of children is not tolerated. Over her years of service to victims of abuse, Lauren has successfully advocated for the passage of more than two dozen state and national laws to protect victims and keep predators at bay — including the nation’s toughest mandatory reporting laws, child safety zones and ending the Statute of Limitations for prosecution of sexual crimes committed against children.
In addition to her advocacy work, Book is committed to empowering children to protect themselves against abuse. A former classroom teacher, Book developed the first of its kind Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 abuse prevention and personal safety curriculum program, Safer, Smarter Schools, to provide children with the necessary tools to recognize safe and unsafe situations, avoid traps set by predators, and speak up if they feel unsafe or are being victimized. The curriculum program is currently being used across the state of Florida, the country, and the world in more than 90,000 classrooms – arming 2 million children with safety education each year.
Book is also an accomplished author, chronicling her years of abuse in her best-selling memoir, It’s OK to Tell, which sheds light on the truth about abuse and the healing journey a victim goes through to become a survivor. Her most recent book, Lauren’s Kingdom, is a Publisher Weekly Award-winning children’s picture book that imparts this important lesson to children: “If you’re choking back tears and your heart’s full of fears, you know very well, it’s OK to tell.”
Who is At Risk?
- 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will become a victim of child sexual abuse before their 18th birthday.
- 1 in 5 children who touches a computer will be sexually solicited online.
- Child sexual abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
But 95% of this abuse is preventable through education and awareness – and with guidance and support, victims can heal into thriving survivors.
How You Can Help:
Protect Florida’s Children: Get Your Lauren’s Kids Specialty License Plate Today!
The Lauren’s Kids “Love and Healing” Specialty License Plate, designed by artist Romero Britto, is available for purchase. This license plate is a symbol of hope and healing for the 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse in the U.S., and $25.00 from each plate sold goes directly toward abuse prevention education and survivor support in communities throughout Florida. Plates may be purchased online at LaurensKids.org, through your local Tax Collectors office or private tag agency.