“Fear, guilt, confusion and shame often keep victims of child sexual abuse silent for years – and the scars last a lifetime,” says Senator Book, a survivor and accomplished sexual assault prevention advocate. “When these survivors find their voices, they deserve to be heard – whatever the timeline.”
Seventy-five percent of victims of child sexual abuse don’t tell anyone for a year, 45 percent have still not disclosed after 5 years, and many stay silent for a decade or more – as seen in the highly publicized cases of the Catholic Church, USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, Jerry Sandusky, and others. Sexual abuse is the most under-reported violent crime.
Senator Book began advocating for survivors of sexual abuse in 2002 – long before becoming a member of the Florida Senate, following physical, emotional, and sexual abuse perpetrated by a trusted caretaker. Since that time, she has worked to prevent abuse through education and awareness and help survivors heal with guidance and support.