Sexual Abuse Prevention Advocate & Founder of Lauren’s Kids
2014 Winner of the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis’
Michael Shores Citizen of the Year Award
Q: How did you decide to write your book, “It’s Okay to Tell”?
A: Writing It’s
Tell was a very difficult and painful experience –but after I went through the worst part of my survivorship – the PTSD, the eating disorders, the self-harm – I realized that this was still an issue that was in the shadows. I wrote It’s
Tell to tell my story and to let other survivors know that they’re not alone.
Q: What message would you like to bring to the world?
A: While trauma and adversity can color your life, it’s important to remember that you get to pick that color. I believe important to always remember to keep going; to honor your feelings, seek help if you need it, and to keep pushing forward.
Q: Tell us about your organization, Lauren’s Kids.
A: I founded Lauren’s Kids in 2007 after about five years of legislative advocacy. I started this organization because I was frustrated with the system. Our mission is to prevent sexual abuse through awareness and education, and to help survivors heal with guidance and support.
Q: Tell us about your Walk in My Shoes event.
A: 2015 marks the sixth anniversary of the 1,500-mile Walk
Shoes walk across the state of Florida. Walk
Shoes has given a voice to an experience shared by a staggering 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys that are sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday.
Q: Tell us about your legislative victories that protect victims.
A: We have now passed almost two dozen laws since 2002 that have changed the lives of sexual abuse victims and will keep children safe in the years to come. Learn more: http://laurenskids.org/about/legislation.
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: Nothing brightens my day more than receiving notes from survivors who now have the hope and help that they need to heal. That is what I am most proud of, the real human impact we’ve had.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: My dad inspires me every day. He is somebody who has taught me about strength, determination, dogged perseverance and resilience. Maya Angelou taught me about the power of your voice. She says, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve such beauty.” Last but not least, the survivors that I meet every single day inspire me and drive me to keep going.
Q: What’s on the horizon? Your next project or event?
A: We are so very excited to begin working on and planning for our 2015 Walk in My Shoes journey! Also, we are working on a children’s book, which will be released in January…more details will be coming soon!
Q: How can our readers get involved?
A: You can sign up for our newsletter at www.laurenskids.org, follow us on Twitter @LaurensKids and Facebook www.facebook.com/laurenskids, donate to help fund our 2015 Walk, or better yet, join us and participate! You can learn about all of our latest happenings on our website and social media.
Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Event information
In recognition of her tireless efforts to both raise awareness and prevent childhood sexual abuse, Lauren will receive the prestigious 2014 Michael Shores Citizen Of The Year Award at the 35th Biscayne Bay Gala, to be held on October 25th at the Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom. For ticket information, go to biscaynebaykiwanis.org – or call 305.814.2225
1. Miami restaurant? The Last Carrot – so fresh, so local, so good!
2. Place to shop in Miami? Bloomingdale’s at The Falls
3. Miami shoe store? Bloomingdale’s at The Falls
4. Pair of shoes? My walking shoes!
5. Quote? “ Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the possible”
6. Movie? I love Netflix documentaries – most recently, I watched Miss
Representation…check it out!
7. Book? Ron Book
8. Vacation spot? I don’t get away very often, but one of my dream, bucket-list getaways is Jade Mountain
9. Splurge? Purses or a statement necklace
10. Something you never leave home without? My cell phone and my Lilly Pulitzer Calendar Book