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4802 and Experience Discuss Local Girl's Murder and Warning Signs Parents Should Know


4802 and Experience Discuss Local Girl’s Murder and Warning Signs Parents Should Know

PITTSBURGH – It was a story that shocked the region in August 2007 - the murder of a young high school girl by a jealous boyfriend. Parents asked how such a thing could happen and wondered how signals could have been missed that a young girl was in danger.

WQED’s Experience airs Teen Dating Violence: The Murder of Demi Cuccia
on Monday, March 21 at 7:30 pm on WQED-TV. Producer and Host Michael Bartley investigates what led to the brutal murder of 16-year-old Demi Cuccia, a popular Gateway High School cheerleader, just one day after her 16th birthday. Cuccia was stabbed 16 times by "a jealous and obsessive boyfriend," who is now serving life without parole at a state penitentiary. Cuccia's parents talk openly about their mission to inform and educate teenagers and parents about the warning signs of teen dating violence. This program offers resources and help for anyone facing the threat of dating violence.

A special edition of WQED’s 4802 will air on Friday, March 18 at 7:30 pm to discuss teen dating violence and the upcoming documentary that airs the following Monday. Host Michael Bartley will have a conversation with Demi’s parents and an expert on teen dating violence prevention, which will provide important information for teens, parents and teachers on local prevention efforts and how to spot signs of trouble in a relationship.

Demi’s parents have established The Demi Brae Cuccia Awareness Organization
http://www.demibrae.com/ to educate youth, parents, communities, and educational systems about the dangers of teen dating violence. The site includes resources for parents, warning signs and statistics. Also on the site is a touching memorial to Demi through photos and videos of her life.
The National Teen Dating Violence Prevention Initiative says that teen girls face relationship violence three times more than adult women and cautions parents to be aware of events in their teen’s relationship early.

Teen dating violence statistics that parents should know:

- Girls and women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence.

- One if five high school girls are physically or sexually hurt by a dating partner.

- One in three teens experience some kind of abuse in their romantic relationships.

- Only 33% of teens who have been in or know about an abusive dating relationship report having told anyone about it.

- Teen girls face relationship violence three times more than adult women.

- 25% of victims say that they have been isolated from family and friends.

- More than half of the victims say that they have compromised their own beliefs to please a partner. Many teens think this is normal.

- Teens have reported that dating abuse via cell phone is a serious problem.

- Cell phone calls and texting mean constant control. One in three teens say they are text messaged 10, 20 or 30 times an hour by a partner keeping tabs on them.

- 82% of parents whose teens were e-mailed or text messaged 30 times an hour were not aware of this.

- The majority of parents of teen victims are not aware of the abuse.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Liz Claiborne Inc. Teen Dating Violence Survey.

WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQEX-TV (A ShopNBC affiliate); Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.


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Tag(s): Experience, Community engagement, 4802, Pittsburgh Area



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