Teen Breakup Violence, Part 1 – Shrinking It Down

Teen Breakup Violence - mosaic visual of yellow and white flower over pink background

By and

Posted in: Multimedia, Podcast

Topics: Behavioral Issues, Relationships

Content Warning: This episode is the first in a two-part series on teen relationship violence. It may be difficult for some of our listeners.

Romantic relationships are a crucial part of life for teenagers. In fact, the biggest emotional struggles in high school and college often come from breaking up with friends or romantic partners. We know that breakups can be emotionally hard for teens, but we don’t often talk about how they can also be violent. Somehow, it feels easier to talk about the sadness or loneliness that can follow a breakup. But violence needs to be part of the conversation, too.

Today, Gene and Khadijah welcome a very special guest, Mary Dunne, to help us start this difficult conversation. Mary’s daughter, Lauren Dunne Astley, an 18-year-old young woman who had just graduated high school, died on July 3, 2011 at the hands of her former boyfriend. She was a victim of breakup violence. Since then, through the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund, Mary has worked to promote dynamic educational programs, particularly those in the areas of the development of healthy teen relationships, the arts, and community service.

In today’s episode, Mary helps us to better understand the complexities of breakup violence, and what we can all be doing – parents, teachers, peers – to be “upstanders” in our communities to help prevent it.

Thank you for joining in this conversation. If you have a question or something you would like to share related to healthy teen relationships or teen relationship violence, please write to us.

Media List

The list below includes resources on understanding and preventing teen relationship violence.

If you found this post helpful, please also watch the LDAMF Foundation short video on “Escaping Breakup and Relationship Violence” here:

Music by Gene Beresin

Episode produced by Sara Rattigan

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Khadijah Booth Watkins

Khadijah Booth Watkins, Associate Director

Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD, MPH, is associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the Associate Director of the Child and...

To learn more about Khadijah, or to contact her directly, please see Our Team.

Gene Beresin

Gene Beresin, Executive Director

Gene Beresin, MD, MA is executive director of The MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, and a staff child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also...

To learn more about Gene, or to contact him directly, please see Our Team.