By Laura C. Morel
A registered sexual offender raping a 3-year-old girl.
An elected official allegedly sexually abusing three children.
That's what the Bradenton Herald reported this week. The police reports for those two cases had some of the most gruesome, gritty details I've ever read.
So when I interviewed Lauren Book, a child sexual abuse survivor and advocate, her visit in Bradenton could not have been more timely. For six years, Book was beaten and raped by a nanny.
As she spoke during the official announcement of the new Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Center in Bradenton on Saturday, Book repeated sexual abuse statistics:
One in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused by the time they are 18. There are 39 million sexual abuse survivors in the United States.
But the most motivating one: 95 percent of sexual abuse can be prevented through education.
Books' organization, Lauren's Kids, created an abuse prevention curriculum called "Safer, Smarter Kids," that aims to do just that: educate.
The curriculum will be implemented in elementary schools statewide this year. It includes a DVD and teachers will explain to students what a "good touch" and a "bad touch" feel like.
Sexual abuse "is an epidemic and a pandemic in this country," Book said on Saturday.
Here's to hoping education changes that.