Dating violence forum

During his acceptance speech, Bill Bach choked on his words while remembering his daughter and this program in her memory.

Now, a new generation of teens is learning about his daughter, and learning from her tragic fate."You need to know who Amanda was, and what the Amanda Forum is all about," Peña told anyone within earshot.

"We rely so much on technology that this can lead to miscommunication and distrust in any relationship."Denise Koebcke, youth outreach coordinator for The Caring Place, serves as director of The Amanda Forum.

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Analyse Peña sounded like a seasoned social worker, not a high school senior.

One after another, she confidently answered the same question from fellow Valparaiso High School students during Wednesday's lunch hour: Who is Amanda Bach?

Each one illustrated that the students are more than just their relationship, which can be deceptive at that age."Too many youth do not think it is an issue," Peña told me afterward.

"I was more than excited to educate people about the Amanda Forum and all the ways they can learn how to look for the signs of an abusive relationship."The Amanda Forum began in 2013 as a direct, positive response from Bach's death.

Behind the table, posters punctuated the message to teenagers, stating, "Let's Start Talking," and "#Relationships" and "Love is Not Abuse."At one point, a few rowdy teen boys wandered over to the table to make jokes.

Once they found out about Bach's tragic fate, they piped down.But the memory of Amanda Bach still burns brightly and so does her message from the grave to a new generation of teenagers."This interactive board is a way to spread awareness about dating violence," Peña told students as Bach's bubbly smile flashed on the video monitor.Students lined up to learn details about Bach's death, take a brochure and wristband (#Dare To Date Safe), and to fill out a "talk bubble" affirmation to tape on the wall.In the background, a five-minute video ran on a loop, illustrating Bach's promising life, violent death and the organization formed to honor her, The Amanda Forum."She'll never be a college graduate, a wife or a mother," said her mother, Sandy Bach, on the video.Amanda Bach was a pretty and petite 19-year-old Portage woman who was shot in the throat and killed Sept.The weathered memorial still houses homemade wooden crosses, small stuffed animals, faded bouquets of plastic flowers, and tipped over candles that have long been extinguished.

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