What Will End the Plague of Child Sexual Abuse?

Florida State Senator Lauren Book and Her Lobbyist Father Ron Book Support Evidence-Based Interventions

No matter how many times the statistics on child sexual abuse in the United States are repeated, they remain shocking. Lauren’s Kids co-founder and Florida State Senator Lauren Book with her co-founder and father Florida lobbyist Ron Book frequently remind the public that:

● 1 in 5 boys and 1 in 3 girls will become the victim of sexual abuse before they turn 18 years old.
● 1 in 5 children who regularly go online will be solicited for sex.
● Child sexual abuse occurs in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. It is endemic to every socioeconomic status, every income level, every religious group, and every level of education.
● ” Stranger danger” is not the greatest risk factor for child sexual abuse. Sexual assaults on children are most often carried out by someone the child knows, loves, and trusts.

Lauren Book and Lauren’s Kids co-founder Ron Book cite another set of awful findings from the Stop SV (Sexual Violence) released by the Centers for Disease Control. Among women with a history of completed rape, 40 percent first experienced it before the age of 18.

Lauren Book and Ron Book remind us that Sexual violence against children is clearly associated with identifiable risk and protective factors that can be changed to increase or decrease the risk of continuing sexual violence over time. Families with a history of sexual violence toward children tend to perpetuate sexual violence toward children. Perpetration of sexual violence is more likely with parental violence, hyper-masculinity, acceptance of delinquent behaviors, early sexual initiation, and risk-taking behaviors, such as unprotected sex.

Poverty, gender inequality, exposure to crime and violence in the community, and a culture of male sexual entitlement also correlate to greater risk of childhood sexual violence. But it’s not enough, Ron Book and Lauren Book realized, to know the causes of sexual violence against children. It’s essential to identify evidence-based interventions that can prevent and stop it.

Ron Book and Lauren Book believe that an overwhelming percentage of cases of sexual violence can be prevented through in-person and online education. Education to stop childhood sexual violence is the the reason they founded Lauren’s Kids.

The Lauren’s Kids Foundation has collaborated with the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and focus groups of families and therapists to publish a one-of-a-kind resource titled The Guide to Hope & Healing. It gives essential information for answering questions that arise after a child’s disclosure of sexual abuse. Free to families in Florida, the Guide includes a manual with references, resources, tips,and forms. The Guide to Hope & Healing offers activities for underage survivors of sexual abuse to open up lines of communication, and gives reliable guidelines for safety planning.

The Foundation also offers an online, interactive Family Safety Toolkit that families can use to develop their own safety plans for their children in grades K-12 as well as a Safer, Smarter Schools curriculum for Florida public and charter schools,also now used in 40 states.,

For community organizations, the Lauren’s Kids Foundation offers a downloadable Youth Serving Organization Handbook. The Foundation offers Trauma-Informed Care training for foster families and tips for first responders. The Foundation’s professional advisory board believes that as many as 95 percent of all cases of child sexual abuse can be prevented by pervasive education throughout the communities in which children live.

Lauren Book, M.Ed., is herself one of 42 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the United States. As she writes in her Publisher’s Weekly bestselling children’s book, Lauren’s Kingdom, “If you’re choking back tears and your heart’s filled with fears…You know very well, it’s OK to tell.” She chronicles her story from victim to survivor to children’s safety advocate in her first book, It’s OK to Tell.

Lauren Book is currently the Minority Leader in the Florida State Senate. In addition to her duties as Minority Leader, she has sponsored the Florida Cybertrafficking Bill, aimed at stopping revenge porn, and Senate Bill 1798, which would make digitally altered or deep fake pornographic images a felony.

Administrative law expert Ron Book energizes the Legislative Affairs and State Affairs committees of the Council of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, of which he is a Trustee. Mr. Book also serves as President and CEO at Ronald L. Book, P.A., a law firm specializing in governmental affairs and lobbying in both Tallahassee and South Florida. A prominent Florida lobbyist, Mr. Book and the team at Ronald L. Book, P.A., have built a client list of the top names in business, local governments, industry, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations across the state.

As Co-Founder and Board Chairman of the nonprofit Lauren’s Kids Foundation, Ron Book has overseen its growth so that the Foundation’s in-school curricula can be found in more than 90,000 classrooms across the country.

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