“The new Title IX enforcement guidelines issued by Secretary DeVos strip survivors of their dignity with unnecessary and potentially cruel and demeaning policies. In the wake of the #MeToo movement and reports of widespread abuse in a wide variety of institutions, we should be focused on empowering sexual assault survivors and ensuring justice is served. Instead, Secretary Devos’ proposal makes it even more traumatizing for crime victims to come forward. For example, allowing a perpetrator to cross-examine his or her victim is atrocious and forces a vulnerable person to relive his or her suffering. As a sexual abuse survivor, I know how powerless victims feel in the justice process, especially when being deposed. These rules will only make things worse. I urge Secretary DeVos to reconsider her Title IX guidelines and instead concentrate on policies to reduce campus sexual assault.”
Lauren Book, M.S. ED, founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids, is an internationally-recognized child protection advocate, best-selling author and Florida State Senator who works every day to protect childhood. She is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, suffered at the hands of a trusted caretaker from the time she was 10 until the age of 16. Armed with the knowledge that 95 percent of sexual abuse is preventable through education and awareness, Lauren has worked to turn her horrific personal experience into a vehicle to prevent childhood sexual abuse and help other survivors heal.
An official 501(c) (3) since 2007, Lauren’s Kids educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention through in-school curricula, ADDY and EMMY Award-winning public 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 the Southernmost Point of the U.S. in Key West to the Capitol in Tallahassee – and provides more than 8 million direct mail education and awareness materials statewide. The foundation has helped advocate for the passage of nearly two dozen laws to support survivors and protect children from predators. For more information, please visit www.laurenskids.org.