“A high school friend of amine was the victim of teen dating violence, so it was personal for me,” said Ridgeway. “I remember being surprised that there was no education readily available in schools to teach us about the signs, where to go to get help and how to respond when one finds themself the victim of dating violence. It was not being discussed enough.”
With the growing use of technology and social media among teens, Hill Stawick said she’s concerned about an emerging kind of abuse that’s becoming more common: digital abuse, which can include controlling passwords, demanding to see text messages, the exploitation of sexual images and location tracking.
After Battle Creek native Christine Doré Miller released her debut novel “Forgiven are the Starry-Eyed” in April 2019, a book that centered on a fictional teen caught in an abusive relationship, she knew there was more material to explore.
The follow-up novel explores the fallout of a toxic relationship for the fictional Andrea Cavanaugh as she enters her first year of college. The first book took place in the fictional town of Oakwood in Southwest Michigan, and the second book in the series picks up a year after the events of “Forgiven are the Starry-Eyed,” and Cavanaugh’s personal journey as a survivor of an abusive relationship…,,
In 2016, 16-year-old Emma Walker was killed by her ex-boyfriend. Her mother, Jill, continues to use her story to raise awareness. “I want people to realize it can be anybody, it can happen to anybody,” said Jill Walker. “I want to be Emma’s voice and hopefully help more lives.” Teen dating violence is real, but it’s not often talked about. Walker is trying to change that.
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