Policy and Advocacy

Break the Cycle advocates for policy and legislative change to better protect the rights and promote the health of young people nationwide. Our policy team works at the local, state and federal levels to prevent and end abusive relationships.

Federal Policy

As a member of the National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, Break the Cycle is part of a national coalition of individuals and organizations focused on the development, passage and implementation of effective public policy to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Break the Cycle also sits on the NTF Steering Committee, whose members work collaboratively to guide public policy initiatives aimed at ending violence against women.

Break the Cycle has been at the table for every reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), including in 2000, when Break the Cycle was instrumental in including protections for victims of “dating violence” for the first time. Since then, we have co-chaired the task force that drafted the bill’s reauthorizations, protecting and expanding the representation of young people, as well as engaged federal offices, Congressional committees and the White House in addressing dating abuse.

State Policy

Break the Cycle works closely with advocates and lawmakers in every state to increase prevention efforts and to strengthen the safety net available to young survivors of abuse. Our state policy advocacy focuses on including healthy relationship lessons in state educational standards, providing minors with equal access to legal protections, standardizing school response to incidents of abuse and mandating training for all school staff. We also publish our State Law Report Cards, providing a valuable advocacy tool to activists on the ground. 

Grassroots Activism

We sponsor a growing national grassroots coalition of parents, teachers and advocates known as Love Is Not Abuse whose mission is to implement teen dating violence education and policies in their communities.