SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hampden District Attorney’s Office presented a new seminar on preventing dating violence to students for the first time Friday morning at a high school that lost one of its own seven years ago.

Kate Mauke was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in her family’s home in Springfield in 2015.
The case is the centerpiece of a 30-minute video produced by the Hampden District Attorney’s Office aiming to educate students about the risks and warning signs of dating violence.

“We know that this stuff is happening. For years, this stuff was accepted or swept under the rug now we want to talk about it we want to bring it into the light of day.” Anthony D. Gulluni, Hampden District Attorney

Dating violence can be emotional, physical, or sexual affecting more than 1.5 million high schoolers every year. Physical dating violence affects 1 in 11 female students.

“This educates them about what they deserve and what’s right and what’s wrong, but also the signs for other people around them.”

The film has been in production for years, but today’s screening was the first in front of a live audience of students at Maukee’s former school. You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium.

“It puts a lot to think about. People that you may not think would be violent or abusive. You might not see it on the surface but looking in more people might be like that than you think.” Collin Budlow, Springfield International Charter School Student

“Nobody could see this coming. So it’s very important to tell us about these things so we can look out for them ourselves.” Melina Greene, Springfield International Charter School Student

Female students and those that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer face the highest rates of dating violence. The best way to prevent this is to educate both on how to spot an abusive relationship and how to get out of one.

If you are a victim of dating abuse or think a friend may be or if you think you are at risk of becoming an abuser call 866-331-9474, they are there to listen.