12 years later, the father of murdered Wayland teen is raising awareness about dating violence

WAYLAND, Mass. — A new video on preventing relationship violence will premiere at Wayland High School this week, nearly 12 years since one of their graduates was killed by her ex-boyfriend.

“The senior year summer is one of the most dangerous times I’ve come to believe because anyone who’s in a couple in high school is facing a threat at that time of a possible breakup,” said Malcolm Astley.

A breakup between two Wayland High School graduates led to the death of Lauren Astley in 2011.

The 18-year-old had plans to attend Elon University that fall and broke up with her football star boyfriend Nate Fujita.

He’s now serving a life sentence for killing her shortly after their breakup.

“People like to think, oh that’s somewhere else, no it’s where you live, so we’re trying to work on bringing it to light and also the means in trying to prevent it,” said Malcolm Astley, Lauren’s father.

It’s been twelve years since the murder of his daughter, and since then, Malcolm Astley has been hard at work, bringing awareness to dating violence.

His family and friends created the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund to lead that work, and this week the team will debut a new video called ‘Understanding and Preventing Relationship Violence.’

The video will feature interviews with 13 specialists, who will explain how to recognize signs of violence in a relationship as well as action items on how to prevent that abuse and even death.

“To build confidence is a major thrust of the video, how can we better instill self-confidence and avoid the shame that often turns to rage in a breakup,” said Astley.

That rage is often deadly.

Astley says 2 to 3 women die every day in the U.S. from domestic violence, and he hopes videos like this will teach people how to deal with grief from a breakup.

“We lose all of our relationships eventually in our lives and we don’t like talking about it, and we’re not well prepared for it, so pain and confusion can turn to rage and that’s what we need to stop,” said Astley.

The new 20-minute video on preventing relationship violence will premiere at Wayland High School Wednesday night from 7:30-9:30 PM and it’s open to the public.

The video will later be available at: Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund | promoting healthy teen relationships, the arts, and community service

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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