They were at a party, and Joe (not his real name), the cute football player she’d been dating, had kicked her, hard, propelling her into a wall, where she had hit her head and blacked out.
“I woke up and he was hovering over me,” Sarah, now 18, recalls.
Initially flattered, Sarah gradually grew uneasy with Joe’s possessiveness.
“He never really straight out said he didn’t like my friends, but he made it clear I didn’t need anyone else.
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Joe Parle, Vice President and Academic Dean at [email protected], so we can determine what arrangements can be made.
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Getting hurt was the furthest thing from Sarah’s mind when she met Joe at a back-to-school dance in September 2004, the start of her sophomore year. “I was crazy about him and about being in a new fun relationship,” she says. Joe, knowing Sarah left before dawn for crew practice—she eventually became team captain—began sending her text messages at 4 a.m.
“They would say things like, ‘I know you are at practice right now, but I just wanted to be the first one to say hi,'” Sarah says.
According to a Harvard study of 4,163 public high school girls in 2001, nearly 1 in 5 reported physical or sexual abuse in a relationship.
“This is a major adolescent health issue,” says Jay Silverman, associate professor of society, human development and health, who directed the Harvard study.