Lauren Book

Jordan Michael/WLRN

Around this time of year, a lot of people walk to achieve the highly coveted yellow-polka-dot-bikini body.

Lauren Book walks to help mend lives.

Book ended her fourth annual trek on Tuesday, walking 1,500 miles from Key West to Tallahassee.

She was joined on the last mile of the trip by an army of supporters in blue shirts adorned with footprints and the words “Walk In My Shoes 2013.”

The person who robbed me of six years of my childhood wasn't a stranger, or even an acquaintance. My abuser was my live-in female nanny, someone who my parents trusted implicitly.

I know what you’re probably thinking: this is unimaginable. This would never happen to my family, or to my child, or in my house. But 90 percent of sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way. When the victim is a child, the abuser is likely someone they – and their parents – not only know, but trust.

The toughest child abuse reporting law in the nation went into effect in Florida last October.

It used to be that only parents or caregivers suspected of abuse had to be reported.  

Now, anyone who suspects a child is being abused or neglected is required to report it regardless of the suspect.  Failure to do so could lead to a felony charge resulting in a five year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.

Gina Jordan/WLRN

The toughest child abuse reporting law in the nation went into effect in Florida last October, and the state has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the legal obligation to report suspected abuse.

The new law was introduced in response to the scandal at Penn State University.  Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of molesting children years after the abuse was discovered by staffers.

If a similar situation happens in Florida, the institution could now be fined a million dollars for each person who failed to report the abuse.