Maren Sanchez, 16, a student at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, was stabbed to death in April 2014 by Christopher Plaskon, 19, after she refused his invitation to the school prom. He was convicted of murder in June 2016 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. While Plaskon’s conviction may have offered little comfort to Maren Sanchez’s loved ones, her death called attention to the issue of teen dating violence. Connecticut enacted a state law in 2014 requiring teachers, administrators and other school personnel to receive training in how to recognize teen dating violence and domestic violence. And the pain from the loss of her daughter prompted Donna Cimarelli-Sanchez to create the Maren Sanchez Home Foundation with the mission “to empower girls to defend themselves against emotional, psychological and verbal manipulation and physical violence.”
According to the 2017 Youth Behavior Risk Survey, about 10 percent of teens in Connecticut said they have experienced sexual dating violence in high school.