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Learn how to ID, prevent harmful relationships at Feb. 28 event

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

February 19, 2019


OCALA, Fla.—The teen years can be tough and made worse by toxic relationships, which can be widespread. An estimated one in three teens in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner; one in five experiences physical violence. To help teens and parents recognize unhealthy relationship behaviors, the Florida Department of Health in Marion County’s BRAZEN program (in cooperation with the Marion County Children’s Alliance) is holding a special dinner and workshop event at the end of the month.

“How to prevent toxic relationships,” a workshop for parents and teens, will be held on Thursday, Feb. 28, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Marion Technical College (1014 SW Seventh Road, Ocala). Award-winning singer, youth motivational speaker, author, and director of the Ivy Girl Academy Jessie Funk will lead the workshop. The free event will include upbeat music, humor and interactive games and includes dinner, vendor booths and giveaways. The workshop is open to all youth ages 12 or older and their parents or guardians.

For more information or to reserve your seat, please call 352-438-5990; register online at


BRAZEN is a grant-funded sexual risk avoidance program that works with youths and adults. The program seeks to empower pre-teens and teens with important factual information to help them make healthy decisions, including avoiding the dangers of alcohol, avoiding pregnancy and STDs, developing healthy relationships and teaching them the skills to overcome social and peer pressure.

The program works with local middle and high schools and community partners. Program staff are also available to speak to community groups and can tailor presentations and workshops to a specific topic. For more information about BRAZEN or to schedule a presentation or workshop, please call 352-644-2714.