In the United States, 26% of the population is under the legal voting age. They may be too young to vote, but teens can still take an active role in ensuring they have the tools, legal and otherwise, to protect themselves against dating violence.
Through youth activism, service-learning and peer leadership, teens can:
- Raise awareness of dating violence
- Develop the next generation of anti-violence advocates
- Learn leadership and other positive development skills
This kit-based initiative challenges youth to create lives and communities free from domestic and dating violence. Youth participate in:
- Letter-writing campaigns
- Community walks
- Art-driven activism
- Journalistic assignments
- Legislative and school-based advocacy
Speak.Act.Change engages, educates and empowers youth to become advocates for healthy relationships while promoting their positive development. The benefits of this type of service-learning are extensive:
- Youth find their voice through taking ownership of a project. They take control of their own learning, develop leadership skills and become valuable, decision-making members of their communities.
- Speak.Act.Change projects "pay it forward." Youth who participate not only learn and develop, they also apply their new skills and knowledge to improving their school's climate.
- By empowering a core group of student advocates, school administrators have a "sounding board" to address important issues affecting the student body.
- Youth who participate in service-learning programs achieve more academically, becoming more likely to complete their high school education and matriculate to college.
- This project meets the standards and best practices of the National Youth Leadership Council and Learn & Serve America.
Break the Cycle designed Speak.Act.Change for teens, ages 13 and up. They can follow the kit's instructions independently or in small teams. All of the activities require minimal assistance from adults. Break the Cycle encourages educators to participate and serve as positive role models for youth.