Bridgeway Center’s Crisis Hotline and Rape Crisis Center joins Sexual Abuse Victim’s 1,000-mile ‘Walk in My Shoes’ Campaign as it comes to Okaloosa County

Fort Walton Beach, Fl. – A young woman who overcame years of physical and sexual abuse, then worked to change Florida law to better protect the rights of victims walked through Okaloosa County on Sunday, April 17th as part of her 1,000-mile trek across the state for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  The Team from Bridgeway Center’s Crisis Hotline and Rape Crisis Center, led by Chief Executive Officer Daniel Cobbs, participated in her walk through Okaloosa County. The walk and other events brought public awareness to the issue of sexual abuse, promotes legal changes to enhance victim’s rights, educates parents and children about how to stay safe and encourages all victims to speak out. Bridgeway is proud to have joined Lauren Book Lim in her walk and in her mission to help children and others protect themselves from sexual predators.

Pictured L-R: BCI Representative Betsy Gunn; Lauren Book LIm; BCI Outpatient Clinical Services Program Manager, Amanda Aylsworth, MS; and BCI Representative Hope Barricklow

Last year Lauren walked from South Florida to Tallahassee.  This year she walked across the Panhandle.  On Sunday, April 17th Amy Forer from Bridgeway Center joined Lauren and her crew in Navarre for the 22.5 mile walk to the days’ destination of the Destin Hampton Inn.  Other Bridgeway walkers that joined with the walkers in Destin included: Amanda Aylsworth, Elaine Brewer, Cindy Kelly, Donna Morgan, Mary Cox, Larry McFarland, Samia Malik, and Dan Cobbs. 

Lauren and the walkers were greeted at the end of this leg of her walk with a reception provided by Bridgeway’s Crisis Hotline and Rape Crisis Center volunteers: Hope Barricklow, Mellissa Lance and Betsy Gunn.  In appreciation of her advocacy efforts a basket of foot care products and a teal hand made scarf were given to Lauren by the Crisis Hotline and Rape Crisis Center volunteers. 

On Tuesday, April 19th the walk began at Henderson Beach State Park in Destin and continued on to Walton County’s Grayton Beach State Park.   Along the route encouraged families to use her interactive training tool to help parents better protect their children from predators, and conduct book signings.

Bridgeway’s staff and volunteers joined Lauren at the Books a Million Store in Destin Commons on Thursday, April 21st at 7pm where she signed copies of her new book, “It’s OK to Tell”, and talked about her experience. The walk throughout Florida began on March 19th in Key West and ends in Tallahassee on April 26, with a welcoming rally at the state Capitol.