Teen’s death fuels workshop to stem dating violence
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent January 2, 2014 11:04PM
Updated: February 4, 2014 10:20AM
VALPARAISO — The Caring Place is unveiling its youth dating violence program, named for a teen victim of dating violence, with a workshop in late January.
The Amanda Forum, named for the late Amanda Bach, who was killed in Wheeler in 2011 at age 19, will host a training workshop from Jan. 29 to 31 for teens, schools and service agencies that work with young people, and parents and the community.
Sandra Bach, Amanda’s mother, supports and is involved with the project, said Mary Beth Schultz, The Caring Place’s executive director. The Caring Place provides services and shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children.
“It brings it closer it can happen anywhere and it happened in our own community,” Schultz said. “I’m sure the Bach family would want to make sure no one has to suffer what they’ve suffered.”
The Caring Place received a $50,000 grant from the Women’s Impact Fund of Porter County, an offshoot of the Porter County Foundation, for the program, which will focus on developing pro-social relationship skills and resilience.
Schultz hopes that, after the two-year grant runs out, the program will be able to receive national grant money to continue.
“The Caring Place has been extremely involved in preventative programs for a long time, and involved in teen dating for a limited time,” Schultz said, adding Purdue University grant funded a youth outreach program several years ago, though the agency has continued to provide programming in the schools.
Two teen forums helped cull information for The Amanda Project, she said, with the goal of wide community participation. “We want to make this part of the schools’ curriculum.”
The schedule for the workshop, held at Aberdeen Manor, is as follows:
6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29: Community presentation, open to all community members, parents and organizations; no charge to attend.
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 30: Adult workshop, open to educators, guidance counselors, social workers and professionals; $15 registration includes breakfast, lunch and a T-shirt.
8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 31: Youth workshop for high school and college students; free breakfast, lunch and T-shirt provided.
For more information or to register, call The Caring Place at 464-0840, Ext. 103.