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Smiling Student
At Building Strong Foundations, we're passionate about helping others develop healthy, positive relationships, and avoid or leave harmful relationships. ​

Dee Dee and licensed counselors are available to speak at schools, churches, businesses, and other organizations or groups to help raise awareness and protect our youth.


The presentation includes recognizing warning signs of unhealthy and abusive relationships, understanding the components of healthy relationships, and how to help.


It Doesn't Start with a Punch

My Journey through an Abusive Teen Dating Relationship

This book helps readers understand how easily adolescents can become involved in an abusive relationship. She explores how abuse can start subtly and grow, imparting deep wounds with long-lasting effects.

Journey with this survivor as she shares her experiences with emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, revealing why she stayed in the relationship, how she found the courage and strength to leave it, and how God’s redeeming love healed her wounds.

An intimate, practical guide to helping adolescents prevent and escape abusive dating relationships, including steps toward recovery, healing, and forgiveness


The candor and willingness in which Dee Dee shares her story is truly inspirational. Speaking from experience as a school counselor, so many students get entrenched in unhealthy relationships ….  This book is a wonderful resource with information for people dealing with all aspects of this critical issue. I look forward to using it as a resource as I work with youth and others in my life, and I look forward to recommending the book to others for those same purposes. 

Alicia Edwards, Counselor, Byron P. Steele High School, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD

A must-read for parents, grandparents, teachers, youth pastors, or anyone with a heart for teens. . . . A story of redemption and restoration. I challenge you to take in all that the author has to offer in order to help the teens in your life navigate the uncertainty of their world. David Runnels, former Youth Director at Northern Hills United Methodist Church


"By courageously sharing her personal story, while also citing current research and statistics, Dee Dee provides an invaluable resource which can be utilized by Police Officers and Liasons to proactively disseminate information that helps to identify and prevent these abusive relationships before they occur.” Keith Lane, Chief of Police, New Braunfels

“Dee Dee’s ordeal serves as a guide for what parents can do and watch for in their own children. . . . This honest narrative gives insight [into] why it’s hard to leave. . . . I never knew girls would say yes to boys or go out with them to avoid hurting their feelings. The book touches on a lot of influences in kids’ lives and calls out for parents to be mindful.” John Allen, father and Principal Software Engineer, IT, Dell Computers


"The value of “It Doesn’t Start…” is endless. The author’s story of how a smart, caring person becomes involved with an abuser is consistent with experiences I’ve witnessed throughout life and as a teacher. Many of the signs discussed are common throughout abusive relationships.  Her ability to take her story, link it to known psychological explanations and statistics, and then find a path to healing is exemplary. As a Christian, I loved her connections between everyday struggles and direct quotes from the Bible. This is a must-read! Ingeri Milam, Christian, mother, and high school teacher

Honest. Raw. Smart. Dee Dee tells a compelling story of a young woman’s heartbreaking search for love and acceptance. Rejoice with Dee Dee as she shares the secret that allowed her to break free of the bonds that had held her captive to bad choices and destructive behavior.” John Mitchell, Lt. Colonel (retired), US Air Force

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