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Lauren Astley’s Parents Call For Teen Dating Violence Prevention

By Paul Burton, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – Fighting back tears, Mary Dunne, the mother of murdered Wayland teen Lauren Dunne Astley told state lawmakers on Tuesday that preventing teen dating abuse starts and ends with education and communication.

“I Lost my only child to murder at hands of her ex-boyfriend,” Mary Dunne said.

Before a joint committee on education both of Lauren’s parents testified at the State House, pushing for strong comprehensive bill to promote teaching of healthy relationships and violence prevention in all Massachusetts schools.

The bill would require “the teaching of all grade levels appropriate knowledge, skills, behaviors and norms for building healthy, effective relationships and preventing violence,” Malcolm Astley said.

Lauren’s parents said there are warning signs parents must pay attention to for their children in order avoid teen dating abuse, but schools can certainly help.

“Lauren’s boyfriend did not come over to our house on a regular basis. She tried to break up with him on another occasions and it did not go through,” Mary Dunne said.

Eight other states already have legislation in place to help prevent teen dating abuse.

Right now, Massachusetts has none. And the current proposals have a long way to go.

“We have to get through a few legislative hurdles. We hope these bills can be passed out of the education committee and make their way through the house. But it could take several months,” State Rep. Tom Conroy said.

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