Message from the Executive Director

Our second annual Savor the Season event in Los Angeles was a huge
success! Guests enjoyed fabulous food and great entertainment
while supporting Break the Cycle’s important work with teens nationwide.

I had the opportunity to say a few words at the event
which I would like to share with you here:

* * * * *

Thank you for joining us at Break the Cycle’s Savor the Season 2006. I am so glad you
are here tonight to help us celebrate 10 years of promoting the health and protecting
the rights of young people.

I want to take a moment to thank the generous sponsors of tonight’s event:

We are so grateful for your support.

Break the Cycle engages, educates and empowers youth to build lives
and communities free from domestic and dating violence. We educate
teens about healthy relationships to help them avoid ever experiencing abuse.
We provide help to young people already in need or in danger. We work to
effect policy change that provides greater protections to young people experiencing
abuse. And we create leadership opportunities for youth to become activists
and help build a world without domestic violence.

In our first decade we reached over 80,000 youth with
our programs and services. We are now launching programs that will enable
us to reach many multiples of that number. In fact, I’d like to take this
opportunity to acknowledge two of our leading partners in these new programs,
Verizon and Blue Shield of California, who have provided critical funding and visionary
support for our interactive DVD curriculum.

I am so proud of the work that Break the Cycle does and the accomplishments
we have had. And this work would not be possible without the support of
you, our friends in the community. I am also privileged to work with a wonderful
Board of Directors, terrific volunteers and interns, and the smartest, most
passionate and committed staff an executive director could dream of.

Liz Claiborne, the corporation that we are proudly honoring
this evening, recently commissioned a study which found that teens are accepting
abusive behavior as a normal part of their relationships. They think it’s
normal for relationships to involve extreme jealousy, isolation and control.
They think it’s normal when the person they are dating makes them feel bad
about themselves, worried or in fear. They don’t know that they
deserve better.

We at Break the Cycle help them understand that a healthy relationship
should make them feel like more, not less. Make them feel
stronger, not weaker. More confident and better about themselves, not insecure
and afraid. This is what they deserve. We help them recognize they have
the right to a safe and healthy relationship, free from violence
and free from fear.

I thank you for joining us.

Search the Internet and Support Break the Cycle

GoodSearch is partnering with Yahoo! to provide a search engine that
benefits your favorite charity – every time you surf the web! It’s simple:

  1. Visit GoodSearch.
  2. Enter Break the Cycle as your designated cause.
  3. Click “Verify” and select Break the Cycle (Los Angeles, CA).
  4. Bookmark this page or even better set it as your home page!

Each time you use GoodSearch as your search engine, you help raise money for Break the
Cycle. Spread the news about GoodSearch with your friends, family and colleagues. The more
people searching the web, the more funds Break the Cycle recieves.

Search and support today… GoodSearch!

Get Involved! New Youth Voices Program in High

Break the Cycle has a new way of getting teens in Los Angeles
active around the issue of dating violence. Beginning this fall, our Youth
Voices program will be in partnership with high schools classes
and youth groups.

We modeled this new program after our highly successful Youth Voices program
in Washington, DC, which partners with three different
groups of youth at Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School. In Los Angeles,
the Peer Helpers class at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES)
and the TeenSMART program at Asian Pacific Health Care Venture have already
agreed to partner with us this fall.

Break the Cycle will provide ongoing support and training for the youth
participants at LACES and TeenSMART. Each program will then develop and
implement an action, education or outreach project in their community.

With these partnerships, Break the Cycle will be able to engage more high
school students in the fight against dating and domestic violence. But,
we need your help!

Will you:

  • Volunteer to be an adult mentor for one of our existing high school
    groups in Los Angeles and Washington, DC?
  • Help us bring Youth Voices to a school or youth group near you?
  • Support our existing programs and the expansion of Youth Voices into new
    schools by funding the creation and distribution of materials?

If you want to get involved and support our Youth Voices program, contact
Liza Lorenz at

Take Action: Appropriations Alert

With widespread national support, the Violence Against Women Act
(VAWA) was expanded earlier this year, focusing resources on providing
protections and justice for young victims of violence.

Young people across America experience violence at inordinately
high rates and often face unique barriers in getting help to address it.

  • Girls and young women between 16 and 24 experience the highest rate
    of intimate partner violence
  • In one year, over 4,000 incidents of rape and sexual assault occurred
    in public schools across the country
  • Two-thirds of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18

This summer, the House passed an amendment to the Science-State-Justice-Commerce
Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2007 that provides $4 million
in funding for new VAWA programs targeting youth. These critical
resources will help children and youth who have witnessed domestic violence
and those who have experienced it in their own relationships through grants
to Assist Children and Youth Exposed to Violence – “Children Exposed”
and Services to Advocate for and Respond to Youth – “STARY”).

The Appropriations bill will be taken up in the Senate in September. The
Senate bill currently has no funding for specialized services to children,
teens and young adults experiencing domestic or sexual violence.

What you can do:

Contact your Senators at 202-225-3121 or click
to locate your Senator. Ask them to support amendments that would
fund these crucial programs. Tell them:

  • We must help children and youth who are victimized by domestic violence,
    dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
  • We are counting on you to make funding of VAWA a top priority,
    including the programs that address the unique needs of young people victimized
    by violence.
  • Please vote in favor of an amendment to the Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations
    bill to fund the STARY and Children Exposed programs.