Lauren Book was eleven years old when her new nanny, Waldina Flores, joined the family. For the next six years, Lauren endured daily sexual and physical abuse. Read more...
Lauren Book was eleven years old when her new nanny, Waldina Flores, joined the family. For the next six years, Lauren endured daily sexual and physical abuse. "I was a people pleaser," she says. "I was beaten every day . . . Waldy was very smart, like all predators are. She hit me and bruised me where my parents wouldn't look. When you are thirteen or fourteen, parents never look at their children's stomachs or lower backs or butts or upper thighs."
In 2002, after being encouraged by her boyfriend, Lauren told her therapist what had been happening. The therapist called her parents and her father fired Flores, who fled to Oklahoma where she was arrested two months later. While in prison, Flores broke the terms of her probation by writing love letters to Lauren and was sentenced to an additional prison term.
Since then, Lauren and her father have successfully mounted a legislative onslaught against predators. The many Florida laws they are responsible for include the right of a victim to require that an accused or charged predator take an HIV test, with results guaranteed to the victim within forty eight hours, a law eliminating the statute of limitations on civil and criminal prosecutions when the victim of sexual abuse is under the age of sixteen, a ban on molesters ever contacting their victims or families, and legislation to create a statewide network of sexual-assault treatment centers.
Lauren's story is about hope in the face of extreme adversity. Although it deals with a tremendously sensitive and "dark" subject, It's OK to Tell carries a lasting positive impact. Lauren's story empowers us all to address abuse issues in our own lives. Her memoir moves us to understand the deep emotional matrix that results from abuse and the incredible ability of an individual to recover and embrace life.