An Exploration of Abusive Dating Among Teenagers
But I Love Him:
Protecting Your Teen Daughter From Controlling, Abusive Dating Relationships
by Dr. Jill Murray, ReganBooks
193 pages, $24
Many adult women in abusive relationships don't suddenly fall into them. Most likely, researchers tell us, they experienced abusive dating relationships in their teens, as well as the feelings of powerlessness and denial that carry over into their adult years.
In her new book, "But I Love Him," Laguna Niguel psychotherapist Jill Murray describes how her work with battered women led to the realization that many abusive relationships and the behaviors that accompany them begin early in life. She estimates that one in three girls will be abused physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally by a boyfriend by the time they graduate from high school.
Murray offers no easy solutions for parents seeking to help their daughters get out of an abusive relationship. She describes the difficulties young girls face in trying to break off a relationship and says that many teen girls initially will defend their boyfriend's behavior. The author provides advice on such matters as how to recognize sights of abuse and understand why this has happened to their daughter.
Even parents whose daughters have not experienced abuse would benefit from this book. Murray describes how parents can talk to their daughters not just about sex, but also about dating and the elements of a healthy relationship, "But I Love Him" offers some valuable and troubling insights about the current teen-dating culture. This book should be a wake-up call for some parents willing to take a hard and probably uncomfortable look at their daughters' world.
LOS ANGELES TIMES, November 27, 2000
copyright (c) 2000 Los Angeles Times