August 15, 2007, at approximately 6:20 p.m., Monroeville police respond to calls by neighbors in the community of daunting screams at a near by residence. When police arrived they witnessed a neighbor helping a bloodied teen girl who was struggling to talk.
The bloodied girl was a popular, attractive, 16-year-old cheerleader named Demi Brea Cuccia, from Gateway High School. She had been brutally stabbed 16 times. The murderer, John Mularkey, then 18, just several feet from the fatally wounded teen, was found with the same knife, he used, with his throat slashed. Mularkey survived, the young teen girl died.
This terrible tragedy was the theme of the Teen Dating Violence Awareness event at the Hazlett Theater on the evening of Feb. 19, on the North Side.
Various local organizations such as: Center for Victims, WAAR (Women Against Abusive Relationships) Women’s Center & Shelter, Gwen’s Girls, Black Women For Positive Change, 3E Now Help For Men, and National Teen Dating Violence Helpline, took part in this call to awareness.
The evening began with a meet and greet in the rotunda of the theater. Close to a hundred teens filled the hall.
Hillary Caldwell, of Prime Stage Theater Co., served as the mistress of ceremonies for the night’s performance.
The short stage drama depicted an incident of teen dating violence.
The dramatists, sparked healthy bold, reactions from the teens who were captured by the performance.
It certainly made it’s point crystal clear to the young millennials. Afterwards, the Q&A session was lead by, news reporter/ weekend morninganchor, the talented, Brittny McGraw of WPXI.
On the panel were: Roxanne E. Epperson, director/founder WAAR (Women Against Abusive Relationships); Diane Dahm, Center For Victims; Rhonda Fleming, Pittsburgh Public Schools; Connie Brinda, Prime Stage; Jodi Cuccia, mother of Demi Brea Cuccia; and the cast.
The response by the teen students was positive.
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