LEXINGTON (CBS) – A performance to draw attention to teen dating violence was presented in Lexington Saturday in honor of Lauren Astley, the Wayland teen who was killed in 2011 by her ex-boyfriend Nathaniel Fujita.
Lauren’s father, Dr. Malcolm Astley, took part in the performance of “Break the Silence” at Jonas Clarke Middle School in Lexington.
“There’s a permanent hard part in it all but I think Lauren’s mother and I keep trying to harness it to take it to prevention,” he said.
“Kids know it first what’s going on and they need to have trusted channels to pass that information on to people who can intervene if necessary.”
The show focused on all aspects of teen domestic violence such as warning signs to look out for and how to prevent it.
“When someone is in an abusive relationship they are being controlled by their partner,” explained Jessica Teperow of REACH, non-profit organization that provides safety and support to survivors of abuse. “So when we as a parent or a friend or a family member try to control the situation by what we think is fixing it, unfortunately we are taking control away from them again and so it doesn’t have the result we are hoping for.”
Saturday’s performance took place just as Domestic Violence Awareness Month is about to begin in October.
“It’s a topic, in fact, the issues that nobody wants to really confront,” said Dr. Astley. “It’s too painful, but by coming together like this we can have the strength together to bear witness to it.”
Teperow said using a tragedy like the Astleys’ to prevent it from happening to other parents is a powerful message.
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