42+ hour walk will honor 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse
Senate President Designate Wilton Simpson and other state leaders today joined Lauren’s Kids Founder and CEO State Senator Lauren Book to kick-off the start of the “42 Hours for 42 Million” advocacy walk at the Florida Capitol. Beginning today and through Thursday, February 6, legislators, state leaders, survivors, advocates and community members will join Senator Book in a 42+ hour continuous walk to honor the more than 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse who live in the United States. The walk is taking place on the plaza level of the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee with a treadmill donated by Premier Health & Fitness Center. Senator Book, a tireless advocate and child sexual abuse survivor, will be walking through much of tonight.
“I know all too well what survivors are up against – the feelings of shame and guilt that are not ours to carry,” explained Senator Book. “We are here today to say that it’s OK to tell, it’s OK to heal, and to show communities that together, we can protect our children and prevent sexual abuse.”
Among the other Florida leaders participating in the event are Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried, Senator Aaron Bean, Senator Tom Wright, Senator Annette Taddeo, Representative Bell, as well as advocates from the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, and local law enforcement officers.
“Florida is committed to being a state that protects children and families, that supports survivors, and that punishes predators within the fullest extent of the law,” said Senate President Designate, Senator Wilton Simpson.
During both nights of the event, Florida’s old capitol will be lit in teal – the color associated with sexual assault awareness.
The second annual “42 Hours for 42 Million” walk follows Lauren Book and Lauren’s Kids’ eight-year “Walk in My Shoes” journey across Florida, which has welcomed advocates, community leaders, allies, survivors and more to walk 1,500 miles from Tallahassee to Key West from 2010 through 2018.
For more information about the “42 Hours for 42 Million” walk or to access the livestream of the vent, please visit LaurensKids.org/42-Hours.
Florida State Senator Lauren Book is founder and CEO of the Lauren’s Kids foundation, which works to prevent childhood sexual abuse and help survivors heal. She is also one of the 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse living in the U.S. today.
Book has been instrumental in proposing and passing human trafficking legislation that has proven to be critical in the fight against trafficking in Florida – especially in advance of hosting the Super Bowl. This year, she is again sponsoring legislation aimed at curbing human trafficking, in addition to bills to define the rights of survivors of sexual assault, eliminate the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and allow survivors a one-year “lookback window” to prosecute expired cases, and more.