Father Of Murdered Wayland Girl Works To Educate Teens On Break-Up Violence

Photo: Courtesy of Malcolm Astley

WAYLAND, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Nearly 11 years ago, Malcolm Astley's life changed forever.

His daughter, Lauren, was murdered by her high school boyfriend shortly after the two graduated from Wayland High School. Lauren had just broken up with her boyfriend, Nathaniel Fujita, a few months before her death.

Now, Malcolm Astley is working to honor his daughter's life by educating teens on domestic and break-up violence. He founded Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund and spends time traveling to schools all across the nation to educate students and parents about healthy relationships and how to prevent violence in a relationship.

"Nobody wants to think that a breakup is going to lead to such violence but they do," Malcolm said. "There are three to four a day in our country and about 15 a year in Massachusetts. About 165 more girls and women have been killed since Lauren's death."

Lauren was born in April, and to celebrate her life, Malcolm has several events and school visits planned to help spread awareness about the warning signs and the causes of break-up violence. He said this time of year can be extremely difficult for students as they prepare to go off to college.

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"The senior summer is a vulnerable time where couples in high school are at least thinking about breakups or worrying about them," Malcolm said. "We need to help them with the kinds of fear, sadness, hostility, and aggression that can get turned up."

Lauren would have turned 29 this year.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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