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THINK TWICE: Task force program addresses prominent teen issues

September 25, 2012

Post & Mail photo / Christie Barkley: Steve Hanford, left, of Fort Wayne, and Dean Houser, of Columbia City, demonstrate self-defense techniques to teen-aged girls.

COLUMBIA CITY — Teenagers gathered together Sundayto learn how to make the most out of the one life they have to live. “You Only Live Once...So Think Twice,” was an initiative sponsored in part by the Whitley County Domestic Violence Task Force.
Students and their parents were educated on sexting and the legalities and consequences when becoming involved in sexting. Chynna Presley, with Youth For Christ, gave the presentation. She warned teens that becoming involved in sexting not only sets them up for legal liability, but puts them in danger physically.
Teen boys heard from Ryne Smith, Purdue basketball coach. Smith conveyed a message that encouraged young men to “man up” by acting responsibly and positively.
Dean Houser, managing director for Living Arts in Columbia City, joined with the girls to teach them some basics in self-defense. He pointed out to the group that even though Whitley County is a rural community, teens are still exposed to violence.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As part of the outreach, members of the county’s task force will be displaying ribbons around Columbia City to signify the importance of the month.
The task force’s mission is to reduce the impact and frequency of domestic violence incidents in Whitley County. With workshops such as “You Only Live Once...So Think Twice,” the Whitley County Domestic Violence Task Force is equipping those in the community to make positive decisions and stand against domestic violence.
The task force is a project of the Whitley County Community Foundation. For more information contact Natalie Lewis at 244-6714.

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