Governor Scott is proposing cuts to the cyber crimes unit

Governor Rick Scott is proposing cuts to the "cyber crimes" unit, a move that could mean fewer workers monitoring prying eyes that could be looking at your child.

"I was somebody's sex object," says Lauren Book, a child abuse advocate and author.

Her abuse started when she was just a child.

"The day my nanny decided to prey upon me sexually, my childhood was taken from me. She stole it and she killed that child," states Book.

For six years, Book was sexually abused at the hands of the woman her parents trusted to take of her.

"I had to grow up very fast and I had to suffer in shame and silence for six years," states Book.

But several years later Book has now turned shame into triumph. She no longer calls herself a victim, but a survivor.

"Until you tell, you are a prisoner," she says.

It's a message she is carrying all the way to Tallahassee, one step at a time, walking from the Florida Keys to the Capitol steps with a bill to protect children.

"One of the things in our bill is the Walk In Our Shoes 2011 Act making it mandatory for children to have internet safety classes," she says.

Her bill comes just as Governor Rick Scott introduced a proposal to cut funding and staff for the cyber-crimes unit, the unit which sometimes catches the predator before they catch their prey.

"It doesn't make sense to me as a survivor. There are people out there that catch these individuals before they get to victims," says Book.

Since it was developed in 2007 the cyber-crime unit has arrested more than 250 individuals.

According to the Florida Attorney General's office, one in seven children between the ages of 10 and 17 has been solicited by an online predator.

Book says statistics like that cannot be ignored.

"We need those investigators watching these predators and offenders, so those predators and offenders know we are watching you, we will get you and you need to be aware of us so we can keep our children safe," she states.

Governor Scott wants to scale the unit back not just from thirty four employees to fifteen, but eventually from fifteen to six.

 

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