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Kristin Mitchell Foundation
Interview with Bill Mitchell, Kristin Mitchell Foundation in 2017
When Dating Hurts
Elite Guest, Bill Mitchell
President, Kristin Mitchell Foundation
Audio from Interview 2017
Bill Mitchell is the author of
"When Dating Hurts"
ONE EVENING FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, our family learned our daughter, Kristin, had been murdered by her ex-boyfriend. We were soon faced with the decision to stop and concentrate only on ourselves or help others who might face a similar situation. This has been our mission ever since.
IN 2005, WE WERE ASKED TO SPEAK before a candlelight vigil for Kristin at her college near Philadelphia. As one might expect, my wife, my son, and I took that opportunity to tell the audience what Kristin was like and what she wanted to do in life.
But we also used the moment to warn about the prevalence of dating violence in the world. The evening was no longer about our family, it was about that audience. It was a shift in focus and a breakthrough.
THIS IS SHOCKING: 1 in 3 women will experience serious partner violence during their lifetimes typically between the ages of 16 and 24. But dating violence could seize control of someone's twelve-year old daughter. Or their 30-year old niece or co-worker. It could be their neighbor living on their street. Dating violence is found in every community—in all areas—no matter the zip code, city, state, or parts of the country.
BY NOW, WE HAVE GIVEN OVER 100 SPEECHES about dating violence at high schools, colleges, police academies, private companies, and community groups. They have heard us tell the truth about what can happen to the innocent ones in our lives. Life altering emotional and physical injury is possible unless the warning signs are explained, identified and acted upon.
SPEECHES can only touch a finite number. We knew there was a more dynamic method: put our story into a book. In the summer of 2015, we wrote a few articles about how to avoid this parent’s worst nightmare. The response was very positive. After eleven articles, one question kept being asked “why not write a book?” So, we did.
WHEN DATING HURTS is the true story of our devastating loss. You will follow our journey beginning with the initial call from detectives. This is a memoir, yes, but it also offers practical guidance gained from countless hours spent with domestic violence and law enforcement professionals, victims, and survivors—and, of course, from our own lives after losing Kristin.
HAD WE READ A BOOK like When Dating Hurts years ago, Kristin would most likely be alive today. This book can improve and possibly save lives. With something like dating violence, the more you know, the safer you—and those you love—will be.
WHEN DATING HURTS describes typical warning signs women encounter. Although many of these “red flags” do not appear to shout out danger, continuous unhealthy behavior only escalates in frequency and severity. Had we had been aware, it could have been a whole different outcome. We cannot undo the past, but we can direct the future.
Bill is a board member with Clery Center for Security On Campus.
He is also on the Board of Advisors with Cabrini University's Jordan Center for Children of Trauma and Domestic Violence Education.