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Liz Oster, January 2012 9Who Care winner, looks to end abuse, violence through education, community

9:17 AM, Jan 6, 2012   |    comments
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Five years ago, Liz Oster was kidnapped and beaten when she tried to breakup with her boyfriend. The beating left her with a broken rib, but the pain was beyond physical.

"I thought if this could happen to me, and I think I'm a strong women, then this could happen to anyone. That's what prompted me to start the nonprofit," Oster said.

Oster started the Courage is Change.

"It's mission is to end the generational abuse and violence through education and community," Oster said.

Courage is Change has two public service announcements out right now. One is with the Colorado Mammoth and the other with the Denver Roller Girls. Both commercials share the same message - "It Stops With Me."

Along with the PSA's, Oster also reaches out to kids. Several schools in the Boulder Valley School District take part in Courage is Changes' Red Tent Clubs.

"We teach them self-defense, we've taught them yoga to learn the skills to relax, cooking skills - just lots of different things to make women stronger," Oster said.

Oster hopes to spread the Red Tent Club to schools throughout the state. To have a Red Tent Club at a school, there needs to be a student leader and a willing teacher. University of Colorado students act as mentors and different agencies put on the workshops.

Oster's dream is to open the Red Tent Center eventually.

"It would be health and wellness based to educate women of all generations and bring them together," Oster said.

Right now, the center is just a plan. Sponsors, money and a location are still needed to make it a reality.

Courage is Change has been selected By www.examiner.com for a chance to win $60,000 in an online contest. Voting starts Jan. 9 and anyone can vote once a day until it ends on Jan. 27. To vote visit http://www.examiner.com/america-inspired  Courage is Change is under the 'Passion' category.

To learn more about Courage is Change visit http://www.courageischange.org/

Go to http://itstopswithme.org/ to take the pledge to stop domestic and dating violence.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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