A Florida father is hoping new legislation will help protect others from the nightmare his family went through. The bill makes it a felony for child abusers to contact their victims while in prison or on probation.
Lauren Book was molested for years as a young teenager by the family nanny Waldina Flores. Her father had no idea what was going on.
Book says even after Flores went to prison she continued sneaking letters to his daughter. He was stunned to learn that without a court order there is nothing in Florida law to prevent child sex abusers from contacting their victims.
“They can reach out and they can continue to torment and continue to harass and just completely terrorize the victim and the victim’s families and that has to stop,” says Book.
Book got lawmakers’ attention. A new law dubbed the Lauren Book Protection Act will make it a felony for convicted child sex abusers to contact their victims for the length of their sentence, including probation.
Kelly Otte works with victims of sexual abuse. She says it’s about time and says victims can’t get better if their abuser keeps tormenting them.
“That control can still happen without any kind of physical contact. All it takes is a way for the abuser to be able to connect or communicate with the victim,” she says.
The Book family hopes the new ban on contact will make it a little easier for young victims to start the healing process. Gov. Jeb Bush has until Friday to sign or veto the bill banning child sex abusers from contacting their victims.