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Victim's Mother Fights Teen Dating Violence | News

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Victim's Mother Fights Teen Dating Violence
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HERNDON, Va. (WUSA) - "I miss my daughter, I miss her so badly," said Lynne Russell. Her 19 year old daughter Siobhan Russell of Herndon was strangled and stabbed to death by her boyfriend on Easter Sunday, 2009.

Her mother has found a way to put her grief into action to help teens and their parents know the signs of dating abuse. She and friend created the website DASH, Dating Abuse Stops Here.

Lynn Russell knew her daughter Siobhan was in an unhealthy relationship. But she didn't realize it was dangerous it was until after she was gone and they read numerous emails and texts from the boyfriend.

"We found out how much of a torment she'd endured with threats and manipulation and just general fear. That she lived in," said Russell.

He gradually isolated her from her friends and family, a classic sign of an abusive relationship.

"It's designed to undermine your confidence, for the girl to become dependent on the guy, as he takes away her own self esteem," said Russell.
In the dark days after Siobhan's death, Russell says she realized she wasn't alone when another mother called and told her about her own daughter who'd also been killed by a violent, jealous boyfriend. That's when Russell vowed to do something to help and DASH was born.

"We would've realized more that she was in danger that these steps of abuse were progressing to become lethal," said Russell.

She hopes to save lives by giving teens and parents the signs to look for and where to turn and what to do if they find themselves, their friend of child in an abusive relationship.
Russell says it's what her daughter would've wanted. "I feel I'm doing her work. Everyday I wake up and tell Siobhan it's time to go to work. I feel guided by her," said Russell.

 

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