Child advocate and state Sen. Lauren Book‘s inspirational story will be featured in Sheryl Sandberg‘s newly launched initiative on themes of resilience through tragedy.
On April 19, Book — a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who became an internationally renowned activist — will exhibit an installation decorating the Capitol rotunda, made up of more than 750 shoes worn and submitted by sexual assault survivors of all ages throughout Florida. The display will be up through April 21.
Book also plays a role in Option B, Sandberg’s imitative on resilience that arose from the unexpected death of her husband. Sandberg, the Facebook chief operating officer turned author, had spent several months examining resilience as a way for her two sons to cope with tragedy, adversity and loss. She is now using those lessons learned to serve others thrive through challenging times. As part of the Option B community, Sandberg features inspiring voices of resilience and triumph, including that of Book — an advocate, author, state Senator and new mother. Book’s story of surviving child sexual abuse is also on the Option B website, under “Expert Talks and Advice.”
Book’s Capitol display also coincides with National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention month. Book’s organization Lauren’s Kids and the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV) are hosting the display, which asks viewers to “walk in the shoes” of survivors.
Both Book, of Plantation, and State Rep. Kristin Jacobs of Coconut Creek are supporting the event, which is intended to raise awareness and end stigma surrounding sexual violence, giving victims, families and those affected by the issue a larger voice in Tallahassee.
The display’s presentation will be at a news conference Wednesday, April 19, at 12:30 p.m. in the Capitol rotunda. Fifteen child victims — now survivors — will “unveil” the display in the Capitol rotunda and speak with legislators. In addition, members of Bikers Against Child Abuse Florida (BACA) will attend after biking across Florida in solidarity.