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Torando Warning would only not be relevant if no girls experience abuse at the hands of their boyfriends or someone else. Unfortunately, domestic violence and boyfriend abuse are just as common today as they were when Elin was a teenager. The only way the book is dated is that most people respond more supportively to abuse these days and know the signs.
Tornado Warning is the story of a woman who overcame horrible abuse by her boyfriend when she was a teenager. The book includes the journal of teenage Elin and the adult Elin’s comments about how the events affected her and how she has gotten past them.
Teen dating violence is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as “the physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship, as well as stalking” and “9.4 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend” (see second link). The adult Elin comments that she was still affected by the violence for years. As much as she tried to forget, she could not.
There were triggers—someone would say or do something that would set off an automatic physical response, like trembling. (p. 53)
One of the most valuable aspects of this book is that we see how the abuse snuck up on young Elin. At first things were great, but then Derrick began to show signs of jealousy and violence, such as hitting a steering wheel (p. 34). Teens and adults who work with them need to recognize the signs of impending violence.
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