The attack did not start on April 25, 2014.
The signs of concern started way earlier. Maren was a victim of emotional manipulation for some time before that day. The person who became her attacker showed the classic signs of a manipulator. So many people in plain view of these signs, including Maren, did not know how unsafe this can be. In fact, this kind of situation creates many questions. How do I know the signs of manipulation? What can I do to stop it? Is there a risk this can turn violent? What are steps I can take to make sure someone I love finds help?
The truth is, these situations happen at an alarming rate.
Unlike Maren’s situation, the majority of them go unreported. It is so important to report these situations at the first signs of concern. Many people don’t know the signs or choose to be bystanders. At times, the risk of tragedy may seem remote. Maren was a confident, outgoing, well-liked young woman. A great student, creative mind, and compassionate friend.
For all girls, young women, parents, family members, and friends, there is one critical truth to remember. If this tragedy can happen to Maren, it can happen to anyone.