News Headlines Article

Teen Dating Violence is Widespread, but Underreported
California Health Report

After her visit at an adolescent medical clinic in Los Angeles in January, 19-year-old Serena was afraid to go home. Six days before, her boyfriend had beaten her so badly that she had to go to the emergency room. Serena’s name has been changed to protect her safety.

“She was so sad and so scared,” said Monica Sifuentes, my colleague and an adolescent medicine pediatrician at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, who treated Serena. With visible sadness, she told me Serena’s story.

Serena, who is Latina, isn’t currently in school or working. She hasn’t been able to support herself. She knew her boyfriend was in a gang, but she said he was attentive and took care of her—at first.