Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cause of the Month: Break the Cycle

So the lovely SocialWrkr24/7 gave me this awesome idea. I am blatantly stealing it from her, but something tells me she won't mind. We are both social workers and therefore want to rid the world of injustice. Ok, maybe I sound a bit idealistic, but my ideals are what keep me going. SocialWrkr24/7 started a monthly meme featuring a Cause a Month, where she speaks about a cause that represents her work in the field (child welfare) or something she is passionate about, so be sure to check out her blog! I've learned a lot from her.

While I'm still a student, I do know that children, adolescents and women are my focus (big focus, right!) and I have lots of different interests, job-wise. I experienced the field during my first field placement in private adoptions, and look forward to my next field placement in domestic violence. Because of that, and my interest in working with adolescents, my first Cause of the Month is Break The Cycle. I've even put a little blog button on the top right of my blog to house the Cause of the Month. >:)

Break the Cycle is the leading, national non-profit agency that focus on dating violence among teenagers. As sad as it is to admit, violence in adolescent relationships is raising at a rapid rate. And it is a silent epidemic. According to Break the Cycle, "One in three teens will experience abuse in a dating relationship and more than two-thirds of them will never report it to anyone."

Break the Cycle works toward this endeavor in a myriad of ways. They realize that education is the key to empowerment, and empowering adolescents to stand up for their rights and well-being is the best way to end dating violence. They work with schools to provide teens with the tools and knowledge necessary to develop essential life skills and transition successfully into adulthood. Let's face it: not all children receive this knowledge at home.

Break the Cycle has developed specific curriculum to be used in school settings. They also provide in-person education through the Girl Scouts and the Boys & Girls Clubs.They're also dedicated to empowering youth to become advocates for the cause, which I just love! They've created Speak. Act. Change., a special advocacy project aimed at adolescents and includes service learning activities, such as legislative advocacy and community involvement.

Not all teenagers have access to these programs and/or specialists, so Break the Cycle has created an online network called The Safe Space. This website is a comprehensive resource center on dating violence. There is an "Ask Anything" page, which allows teens to ask questions anonymously. If you know anything about relationship violence, we definitely understand the important of anonymity.

As if that wasn't enough (and sadly, it will never be enough), Break the Cycle provides training and support for adults who want to work in a variety of professional fields that work with adolescents (social workers, school professionals, lawyers, health care professionals, etc). All in all, this is a fantastic national agency that really has a grasp on the problem of teen dating violence and is working very efficiently to stop it.

How can you help?

There are always ways to help, and this agency actually offers some really awesome opportunities for all types of lifestyles and time requirements.

  • Take Action: Join HOPE, Break the Cycle's national membership program comprised of people all over the country united to take action against teen dating violence.

  • Intern with Break the Cycle: Become an intern and gain valuable, hands-on experience. Opportunities engage a range of skills and are available in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

  • Help Teens in Crisis: Become an Ask Anything Volunteer and respond to help emails from teens in need.

  • Join our Young Professionals Committee: Take on a leadership role as a part of this auxiliary group that raises friends and funds for Break the Cycle.

  • Spread the Word: Become a trained speaker on dating violence and table at community fairs.

  • Lend Us Your Expertise: Join a committee, improve our services and learn new skills.

  • Host a Party: Find out how you can have Valentine’s Anytime and raise awareness about teen dating violence.

  • Youth in Action: Visit if you are a teen who wants to take action
I hope you've enjoyed my first Cause of the Month!

1 comment:

  1. I love that you are doing this too! Definitely going to check out this cause! :)