Why It Matters

Break the Cycle believes every young person deserves a safe and healthy relationship, no matter who they are or who they love.

A Silent Epidemic

We are living in a world where one in three students report experiencing some form of abuse, and more than 2/3 never report that abuse to a caring adult. A world where young people in more than 35 states still lack unfettered access to legal protection or other assistance to end an abusive relationship. A world where over 80% of school counselors report being unprepared to address incidents of abuse. This tells us -- dating abuse isn't just a big issue. It's a growing epidemic.

The Effect of Dating Violence

Less attention to academics. Increased exposure to drugs and alcohol. A greater likelihood of teen pregnancy. Growing isolation. Sexual assault. Even one of these things can have a profound impact on the physical, social and emotional growth of a young person. Together, they create a perfect storm that not only affects the victim of abuse, but their friends, families, schools and surrounding communities. 

And it goes beyond the actual violence. Parents need to feel comfortable talking to their kids about these issues. Schools need to take steps to become better prepared to address incidents on campus. Communities need to rise up and say NO MORE.

Thankfully, there are so many examples of where we’re getting it right, where we’re really making an impact. Break the Cycle, along with individuals and many other agencies --national, state and local -- are working together to ensure that everyone knows this is a big issue.