For the Media

Break the Cycle is the leading national nonprofit organization working exclusively on preventing teen dating abuse and promoting healthy relationships. We work with youth, educators, law enforcement, government officials and community leaders nationwide to prevent and end dating abuse by providing innovative prevention education and help services. Moreover, we advocate for changes in laws and systems to better protect the rights of young people.

Why is Dating Abuse Important?

We believe everyone has the right to a safe and healthy relationship. However, one in three young people experience some type of dating abuse, whether it’s physical, emotional, verbal, digital or sexual. Abuse does not discriminate against age, race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion or culture, and teen dating abuse can be just as destructive as adult domestic violence. It can lead to increased exposure to alcohol and drug abuse, addiction, teen pregnancy, sexual assault, eating disorders, depression and suicide. Yet two-thirds of victims never report the abuse to anyone. You can change the public’s perception of dating abuse and help those suffering in silence by promoting healthy relationship behaviors and reversing perpetuated myths about abuse.

Break the Cycle Press Kit

We’re happy to speak with media about all things related to dating abuse and healthy relationships and work with reporters to raise awareness. Our experts can speak on a wide range of topics including intimate partner violence, domestic violence on college campuses, sexual assault, youth activism and leadership development, violence prevention and domestic violence laws as well as the legal rights of minors.

We’re also happy to connect members of the media with young survivors of abuse. Because their comfort and safety is our number one concern, we do not recommend that teens who are currently in unhealthy or abusive relationships speak with the media. In fact, we only connect media with survivors who have already escaped the abusive relationships and are well on their journey towards healing. This distance offers perspective and safety. Often when a victim speaks to the press shortly after the abuse occurred, the impact is too strong and they open themselves up for more emotional damage. Sometimes, they are even putting themselves in physical danger. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Where Can Readers Get Help?

As part of any article covering abuse, please provide your readers with resources to get help. It can make the difference between just raising awareness and saving lives. Here is a sample blurb you may find useful. You will notice we emphasize loveisrespect because it contains information young people need to prevent and escape unhealthy and abusive relationships:

A collaboration between Break the Cycle and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, loveisrespect provides the ultimate source of support for young people in preventing and ending dating abuse. Anonymous and judgment-free help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online and via phone and text messaging. Text “loveis” to 22522 or call 1-866-331-9474 to speak with a peer advocate.