About Us

Founded in 1996, Break the Cycle is still the only agency to provide comprehensive dating abuse prevention programs exclusively to young people. We believe everyone has the right to a safe and healthy relationship and work every day to make that right into a reality.

Mission

Break the Cycle inspires and supports young people to build healthy relationships and create a culture without abuse.

Accomplishments

In the last fifteen plus years, Break the Cycle has reached more than 3.5 million young people. Our accomplishments include:

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): In 2000, Break the Cycle was instrumental in including protections for victims of “dating violence” for the first time in VAWA. Since then, we have co-chaired the task force that drafted the bill’s reauthorizations, ensuring the interests of young people are represented.
  • Respect WORKS!: In partnership with Hazelden Publishing, the largest distributor of violence-prevention curricula, Break the Cycle created the model for addressing abuse on campus: Respect WORKS! Comprised of violence-prevention education, service learning and a policy kit, Respect WORKS! programs are in all 50 states and eight countries.
  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month: Having helped establish February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, we host the hub for all month related activities at teenDVmonth.org and sponsor the National Announcement, which reaches one million young people annually though school intercom systems.
  • State-by-State Teen Dating Violence Report Cards: In 2008, 2009 and 2010, Break the Cycle published a report grading states on how well their civil domestic violence statutes protected teen victims of abuse. Thanks in part to Associated Press feature stories, the report was successfully leveraged by allies across the nation to improve their states’ laws.
  • Hear My Voice: Break the Cycle created and implemented the first-ever campaign to raise awareness about dating abuse among LGBTQ teens and young adults. Entitled “Hear My Voice,” the campaign has reached more than 15,000 young people so far.
  • Legal Services: Break the Cycle has offered direct legal representation to young victims of abuse since our founding. Through this program, we have helped more than 10,000 young in three states find safety and justice.
  • Teen Dating Violence Technical Assistance Center: Since 2007, Break the Cycle has served as the federal technical assistance provider on dating abuse, training 40,000 professionals nationwide on how to effectively help teens experiencing dating abuse.
  • Outreach & Social Media: In addition to in-person outreach, Break the Cycle raises awareness of dating abuse through social media. We were voted one of the top 100 charities in the 2011 Chase Giving Challenge and rank in the 98.6 percentile in retweets.