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“It affects [girls’] academic lives, lowers their standards for relationships and puts them at great risk for unintended pregnancy and STDs.” No one knows what causes such behavior—theories range from violence in the home to alcohol and drug abuse; others suggest violence in movies and the Internet may play a role.
What is clear: Boy abusers and girl victims, without help, are likely to repeat those roles as adults. Every afternoon she would sit on the front lawn of her house in a suburb of Palo Alto, Calif., hoping to catch a moment with Joe as he walked home from practice.
Sarah Van Zanten, 15, was lying on the floor, an ice pack on her aching ribs.
For a moment, she had no idea where she was; then her boyfriend’s face came into focus.
I flew across the room, hit my head on the wall and was knocked unconscious.” No one called an ambulance. Her legs were moving up and down and her chest was shaking.Something she said—to this day she doesn’t know what—enraged him.“He snapped,” Sarah says, still wincing at the memory.Our Magazine is provided free for our readers on a recurring monthly subscription.
Free editions are available as downloadable PDF version’s that can be saved and viewed on your computer with free Adobe Reader, or can be viewed online as a flip page magazine. Each individual monthly edition of our magazine can be purchased as a printed magazine, and will be mailed directly to you.“It became kind of a joke—that she was too busy with school and crew.” Sarah kept her doubts to herself. “I think it has to do with being in one of the first relationships of your life. It made me feel loved.” But her parents, Kate and Mark, a computer software salesman, were worried.You don’t really know where to draw the line.” And then there was Joe himself, who followed up his outbursts with fervent apologies and tokens of love, usually bouquets of roses. Sarah, who had maintained a B average, started getting C’s and D’s, and her friends weren’t coming by anymore.’ And I would say, ‘I can’t ignore it—I’ll get in trouble.’ If I was hanging around with anyone else, he’d get mad and yell at me on the phone.” Her friends knew only that something had changed.