When Lauren Book, 29-year-old founder of the sexual-abuse prevention group Lauren’s Kids, crosses the finish line of her organization’s 1500-mile “Walk in My Shoes” charity event in Tallahassee, Florida on April 22, the crowd will applaud her, call her an angel and cry real tears of support for Book’s outspoken activism to protect children from sexual abuse – 95% of which could, as Book’s organization teaches, be prevented by education and vigilance.

Thus the presence of a ‘peaceful protest’ at that same finish line is likely to shock some and confound others.

“We have great respect for the educational aims of Lauren’s Kids,” Vicki Henry, president of Women Against Registry (WAR) and spokesperson for the ad-hoc coalition of sex-law reform organizations who have members participating in the protest, explained. “Really, in this regard we would like to be walking with them, showing support.”

In response to a recent statement by Book, that she wished critics “would speak directly to me so I can show them the amazing work we are doing on behalf of children,” Henry has attempted to reach-out to Book and her organization’s Executive Director, Ms. Van Susteren, in hopes of meeting to discuss the annihilating effect that Florida’s “Scorched Earth Policy” — which is supported by Book — has on the children of registrant families.

Realistically, Henry sees this expression of solidarity as unlikely to happen because many of the groups that she represents have members, supporters and organizational leaders who are former offenders and are listed on the sex offender registry.

“But these folks are also mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, children and parents who, at some time in their life, did something stupid or immoral but never hurt anyone and yet ended branded with a sex-crime,” Henry continued. “Also because some of our constituents did commit acts which violate sensibility, were rightly convicted of a repugnant crime, served years in prison and more on probation, got therapy, earned family and community support, and continue to work diligently every day to undo all harm done.

“All of whom, we hope and pray, should be welcome supporters of the skyrocketing call to educate legislators, the media, and the general public about ‘how to’ prevent child sexual abuse. But,” Henry summarized, “because of the broad-brush which errantly portrays all who are registered citizens as incurable, evil beings, our constituents, their husbands and wives, sons and daughters, fathers, mothers and friends, are scorned, shunned and even have cause to fear for their lives when attending any public event.

“And this deadly stigma is fueled by the ‘scorched earth’ sex-offender laws and regulations that have been enacted by Florida legislators since the Book’s began her advocacy campaign six years ago… laws that are supposed to protect everyone… are actually damaging everyone, making all of us less safe.

“Yes… about 5% of those on the sex offender registry are predatory, repeat offenders who must be kept under close observation and possibly segregated from free society for the rest of their lives,” Henry affirmed. “But the other 95% of those on the registry are, respectfully, FORMER sexual offenders who are struggling just like the rest of us to find a place of acceptance in our community and fill a role that brings value to our family and friends.

“This is why we stand in solidarity with all those who support laws that do actually protect children by and through the proactive education of adults about how to prevent sexual abuse. But we are duty bound to protest these laws of which so many seem so proud of, that are, according to a growing majority of notable law enforcement and psychology experts nationwide, wasting millions upon millions of dollars in public resource to enforce laws that make society a much more dangerous place and fail to protect any child from harm.”

For more information, contact Vicki Henry, President, 202-630-0345 or visit http://www.womenagainstregistry.org.


  1. Will Bassler
    March 23, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Although I support the brave people who are headed for tally and wish them well . I do take issue with one portion of this news release, and that is the percentages that are used and the term predator the use of the word brings to mind someone who does not know their victim and grabs them off the street. Studies and statistics have shown that less than 1% of all sex crimes fall into that category,commonly referred to his stranger danger. over 98% of new sex crimes are committed either by family members or close acquaintances or people in positions of authority over the victim. the second issue that I have with the news release is the fact that this advocate group is still using 5% and 95%. Those numbers are so far off base it’s unreal . In actuality, the re-offense rate for people on the registry is less than 1% and over 99% of all new sex crimes are committed by first-time offenders. For further information along this line read these articles




    • March 23, 2015 at 9:31 am

      Yes, this story really hit me deep. Florida was my home for 30 years.

      Will, I’m with you on this. I really wish for us to really nail down this PR thing. The research is with us. The Constitution is with us. The good and right thing to do is with us. Experts in the many areas of this issue are with us.

      But folks, we have a PUBLIC RELATIONS problem. I am confident that we will not even begint to accomplish our goals so long as the public sees us solely as “pro-offender.”

      This letter lost it with “registrant’s families.” Just say families! It really, really matters.

      We are Pro-Community, Pro-Family, Pro-Children, Pro-American, Pro-Constitution, Pro-Humantarian, Pro-Forgiveness, Pro-Fairness.

      Why on earth would we want to talk about anything else??

      This hard “pushing against” that we seem to think we have to keep doing is just causing more friction and they in turn push hardeer against us, and so on and on. That not how change is created.

      By the end of all us this, they will be looking to US on what to do to make their communities safer. In the end WE will be the ones most successful at creating safe communities filled with happy families.

      We need to just let Florida do what they have to do. Nothing will stop the great momentum that they have going. When they have spent their billions and have run out of new laws to pass only to find that their horror stories have not only gone away but have become more frequent is when they might consider another path.

      You are brave and I applaud your trip to Tallahassee. Time to tell it like it is:

      “Gov. Scott, your laws only Hurt MORE of Florida’s Children and Families.” and we’ve got research to prove it!! And we are from the “Let’s Get Real About Protecting Our Kids” group or some such.

      I am committed to solving our movement-wide P.R. problem.

      Thank you all for the hard work and thank you for listening!

  2. Alan Davis
    March 23, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Enough of giving the opposition the credit to proclaim that 5% of those on the registry will reoffend. This is a proven outright lie and gives them the fuel to argue that even if only 5% reoffend, than the registry and all of these related laws are worth it.

    I know this is a news release, but I hate to see this outright lie on the Front Page of SOSEN.

    They are claiming that of the 810,000 registrants, 40,500 are preditors that will re-offend, and usually recidivisim rates are expressed in those that will reoffend yearly.

    The true percentage of those who are forced to live with their names on this government sponsored shaming list that will actually commit another sexual crime is well under 1% and some recent studies have shown that number to be less than .08 of a percent.

  3. Scott
    March 23, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    All these restrictions are like sanctions on another country. Eventually everybody will suffer.

    I can understand protecting children and children “Should” be protected. My only problem is, when will parents take some responsibility for the people they allow in their homes these days and think about morals and values?? I have seen many of the same families who were victims allow shady characters in their home who weren’t on the registry only to find that they are re-victimized because of the uneducation of risk factors and signs to watch out for, for.abuse.

    Let’s not make everybody a criminal before something actually takes place, but parents need to be aware as well. This stuff isn’t just a neighbor down the street scare tactic, this is happening within their own families and with friends who unexpectadly may or may not abuse a child.

    Politicians need to quit using sex offenders as a political pawn to parents just to simply have political gain or votes. This in my opinion is bribery to induce phobias.

    Don,t anybody dare to educate me or ask for support of stopping bullying when their own political government does it on a daily basis to certain individuals.

Comments are closed.