Students march against violence

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Taunna Hummel knows victims of violence might not immediately be rescued by the Walk Against Violence.

It's not an intervention in an active crisis situation, but the annual walk fosters an environment in the community that demonstrates people and resources are ready to aid victims of domestic abuse or other violence.

Lack of information and fear is a big problem, Hummel said. "This walk shows that help is out there, through Advocates-Crisis Support Services or the police. It shows that the community supports (victims)."

Hummel is a member of Preventing Relationship Violence through Educating and Nurturing Teens, or PReVENT.

Hummel spoke at Sunday's Walk Against Violence, after about 40 people made the trip from Craig City Park to the Moffat County Courthouse behind a banner that read, "There's No Excuse For Abuse."

Men, women and children carried placards with messages about tolerance and nonviolence.

Hummel and the PReVENT group organized the walk four years ago.

"To see it still happening every year and see the new faces is really great," Hummel said.

Teen members of the group read poems about violence and abuse. And Craig Police Sgt. Bill Leonard delivered a speech about community involvement in stopping violence. Leonard first spoke about the Columbine school shooting and his personal feelings after the tragedy. He reminded the crowd that people who were brave enough to be "tattletales" have prevented subsequent acts of school violence.

"We must share information that stops acts of violence and harm to other individuals," Leonard said.

He announced a new program police will launch in schools this fall in conjunction with Moffat County Crimestoppers. The program, called "Safe To Tell," will teach students about a 24-hour hotline that people can use to report acts of violence, including school violence, domestic violence, child abuse and suicide threats.

"But programs alone cannot stop violence," Leonard said. "It takes people willing to step forward.

Youth violence is again on the rise in early 2004, Leonard said. He urged people not to let the violent acts of a few people ruin the dreams of many.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or jbrowning@craigdailypress.com

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