18-year-old Lauren Astley’s body was found in the edge of a marsh over the July 4 holiday weekend. She had been strangled and had a wound to the neck. Her ex-boyfriend of three years has been arrested and charged with her murder. Prosecutors call the case one of teen dating violence.
Our condolences are with Lauren Astley’s family, who had no knowledge that anyone had been bothering their daughter. They did, however, know that she had recently broken up with Nate Fujita, who has been charged in her death. Fujita has said he did see Astley just before her death, but that they only talked.
It’s important to remember that dating violence can be especially prevalent among teens. As parents, we must be vigilant in watching for signs of dating violence, especially during the time of breakups or squabbles.
According to the group “Choose Respect”, the following statistics are true about teen dating violence:
- One in five high school girls have been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
- Nearly 80% of girls who have been victims of physical abuse in a dating relationship continue to date their abuser.
- One in three teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been physically hurt by his or her partner through violent actions which included hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, and/or choking.
You can read more about Lauren Astley’s death at The Boston Channel.