Break the Cycle's work

Break the Cycle was founded specifically to address dating and domestic violence in the youth population. Break the Cycle is the nation’s first and only nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from dating and domestic violence. Break the Cycle furthers this mission by providing young people, ages 12 to 22, with preventive education, free legal services, advocacy and support.

Break the Cycle’s Education & Outreach Program provides a law-based dating and domestic violence prevention education program to youth in middle schools, high schools, community youth groups, and juvenile detention facilities. The curriculum teaches youth that domestic violence is not only wrong and hurtful but also illegal, that the choice to use violence carries serious consequences, and that the law is there to protect teenage victims as well as adults. In addition, students learn to recognize healthy behaviors in a relationship and they learn that there is somewhere they can go to for help if they are experiencing abuse.

As well as teaching youth, Break the Cycle conducts outreach and provides trainings to teachers, school counselors and administrators, law enforcement personnel, parents and social service providers to educate them about dating and domestic violence and the law.

Through the Legal Services Program, Break the Cycle provides legal advice, counsel and representation to young people trying to escape from abuse. Break the Cycle’s legal services are designed to empower clients by informing them of their options, helping them to decide what course of action is best for them, and then guiding and supporting them through that process. The goal is to make clients’ experience of freeing themselves from abuse an empowering one which restores their confidence.

Break the Cycle’s Peer Leadership Program engages clients, students and volunteers in the organization’s mission to end domestic violence. Through the Barter, Student Liaison and Youth Voices programs, young people are empowered to become the next generation of leaders in the domestic violence prevention movement.

Break the Cycle also serves as a nationwide resource for information and referrals on dating and domestic violence.

Learn more about Break the Cycle’s programs.

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