The Commonwealth of Virginia versus George Huguely V murder trial in Charlottesville (Va.) Circuit Court is underway with Huguely, a 24 year old former University of Virginia lacrosse player charged with the murder of his former girlfriend, Yeardley Love, a women’s lacrosse player on May 2, 2010.
Now in the second week of testimony, it is clear Love was the victim of free dating abuse long before her death. The defense maintains that Huguely was drunk the night of her death, visited her to “work things out,” did not intend to kill her and left her apartment with no sense she had been badly hurt.
“I do not know what happened on May 2, but I do know dating abuse is happening on every campus in the nation and we could do a better job preventing it,” commented Marjorie Gilberg, Executive Director of Break the Cycle.
Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. Moreover, college students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who is experiencing it.
“We are working to reduce the shocking rates of abuse among college students and we want young adults to know that free dating is here to answer their questions about dating abuse and relationships. You can connect with a trained peer advocate, 24-hours–a-day, 7-days–a-week, by online chat, phone and now for the first time ever – by text. “Everyone can play a role in making relationships safer by taking the time to learn how to identify abuse and what to do if you or a friend encounters it.”
Vice President Joe Biden was the first to demonstrate to the country the simplicity and utility of the texting service by sending the first message. With the innovative structure of the new free dating, teens and young adults can now get immediate help no matter where they are by texting .
In addition to the text feature, the new free dating is engaging young people to take action against abuse. “Yeardley Love’s peers have testified that they witnessed warning signs and abusive patterns between the couple. However, they did not effectively intervene, either because they did not understand the seriousness or they did not know how to help,” continued Ms. Gilberg. “At free dating, we’re training teens, college students, parents, teachers and administrators what to do in this situation. If we are to prevent senseless tragedies like these, we all need to learn the dynamics, warning signs and best practices for dealing with free dating abuse. You can start by exploring the content at free dating.”