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 brings the voice and needs of youth to these discussions. 

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 bringing protections for victims of “dating violence” for the first time. Since then, Break the Cycle has co-chaired the task force that drafted the bill’s re-authorizations, protecting and expanding the representation of young people. We also engage federal offices, Congressional committees, and the White House in addressing dating abuse.

State Policy

Break the Cycle works closely with advocates and lawmakers across the U.S. to increase prevention efforts and to strengthen the safety net available to young survivors of abuse. Break the Cycle’s state policy advocacy focuses on providing minors with equal access to legal protections, the inclusion of healthy relationship lessons in state educational standards, standardizing schools’ responses to incidents of abuse, and mandating training on dating abuse for all school staff.

Grassroots Activism

Break the Cycle sponsors 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. We also work with youth across the country through a national movement led by young people, Let's Be Real, to bring healthy relationship education and awareness to their communities.