Sexual Abuse Survivors and Advocates Walk to Bring Awareness - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Sexual Abuse Survivors and Advocates Walk to Bring Awareness

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The month of April is dedicated to raising awareness of sexual assault. A crowd in blue walked through Panama City Friday morning hoping to do just that.

The group was lead by a unique leader.

Lauren Book is on a journey through the state of Florida with her organization The Lauren's Kids Foundation. She's bringing together survivors and advocates of sexual abuse to raise awareness, something she knows all too well.

"I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse from the time that I was eleven years old until I was 16 at the hands of my female nanny. The abuse went on 365 days a year, 7 days a week, and from that horrible tragic experience, I knew that I needed to turn a negative into a positive," said Book.

Book is on a 1,500 mile journey across the state. She began her walk in Key West on March 19th.

She stopped at the Gulf Coast Advocacy Center and inspired Therapist Tasha Jackson and dozens of survivors and families.

"It's like she's sort of like a celebrity, cause you see her, and she's someone that puts her story out there. She is a survivor and she's thriving," said Jackson.

Advocates and survivors made the journey through Panama City and walked more than 5 miles for a cause and hoping to let others know it's ok to talk about abuse.

"It's not an easy walk. This is something that becoming a thriving survivor takes time. It takes work. It takes support. It seems like it's a daunting journey that will never be able to be accomplished but with the love and support of community members, family, professional, who are skilled in dealing with trauma, we can become thriving survivors, and that's what this is all about," said Book.

She will complete her walk in Tallahassee at the state capitol next week.