Teens at high-risk for intimate partner violence

18-year-old Morgan ; Morgan was a graduate of the Nazareth Academy High School for Girls Class of 2020 and planned to attend Manor College the following fall. @Morgan_McCaffery Instagram Page

In July of 2020, Abington police responded to a report of a shooting at the SEPTA Meadowbrook train station, where they found Morgan McCaffery with more than 30 stab wounds on her neck and stomach.

Philadelphia Police responded to the home of McCaffery’s ex-boyfriend after receiving a 911 from his mother, who told police her son was covered in blood and said he had hurt his girlfriend. He confessed that he had stabbed his ex-girlfriend at the Meadowbrook train station.

A joint investigation between Abington Police and Montgomery County detectives began, revealing information on McCaffery and her ex-boyfriend’s relationship. McCaffery had ended their yearlong relationship in June of 2020, and the ex-boyfriend wanted to meet with her to discuss their recent break-up.

Morgan McCaffery’s abuser and killer was charged with first-degree and third-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime and was sentenced to life.

McCaffery’s friends and family encouraged others to share and post photos of Morgan on social media to stop the sharing of her killer’s mug shot.


Are You Aware?

Teen dating violence is an experience that affects millions of young people in the United States; it can take place in person or through technology. It is considered intimate partner violence which includes multiple types of behaviors. The problem of teen dating violence is much bigger than some think. It has a significant impact on lifelong health, opportunity, and well-being.

The CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey indicate that 26% of women and 15% of men who were victims of contact with sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their life first experienced these or other forms of violence by that partner before age 18.


Pennsylvania: Strangulation Law

Pennsylvania does not have a specific crime of domestic abuse, but there are many charges associated with domestic abuse, such as harassment, assault, stalking, or strangulation. Section 2717 allows defendants to be charged with the crime of strangulation in domestic violence cases because it is one of the most fatal types of physical domestic violence. The law states that a person who commits the crime of strangulation intends to stop the breathing or circulation of blood by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by blocking the mouth or throat. The law also states that the person who was strangled does not have to have a physical injury for the defendant to be charged with the crime of strangulation.

Nonprofit Resources

Women Against Abuse is a nonprofit organization located in Philadelphia, PA. They provide quality, compassionate, and nonjudgmental services in a manner that fosters self-respect and independence in people experiencing intimate partner violence.

PCADV is a nonprofit organization located in Harrisburg, PA. This organization is the nation’s first state domestic violence coalition. They focus on prevention to shift social norms, advocate for state and federal laws, provide professional training and resources, and ensure free and accessible services. 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a 24/7 national domestic violence hotline. They provide essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence and envision a world where all relationships are healthy and free from violence. Their mission is to answer calls to support and shift power back to those affected by intimate partner abuse. The hotline has over 6 million contacts with services operated by expert advocates and other staff members who are dedicated to spreading education and awareness on domestic violence.


This post is a part of an ongoing series examining violence against women. In this Digital Communications Capstone course, student-produced content focuses on the specific topics of cyberbullying, sexual harassment in the workplace, sexual assault on college campuses, domestic abuse among women, and LGBTQ women.

As a mercy institution, Gwynedd Mercy University explores five critical concerns: Women, Nonviolence, Earth, Immigration, and Racism. This series focuses on the critical concerns of Women and Nonviolence.