Teen dating violence is an epidemic, and a silent one at that: though one in three American teens will experience dating abuse, nearly two-thirds will never report it. And, until recently, few organizations targeted young people who were experiencing abuse in their first relationships. Break the Cycle opened its doors with the goal of preventing violence among youth ages 12 to 24 – and empowering teens to diagnose, escape, and prevent unhealthy relationships. Staff attorneys provide free legal services to youth who experience dating violence; they also train local professionals – police officers, nurses, university officials – to support and protect young survivors. Meanwhile, an innovative online and school-based curriculum (in partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline) helps young people strengthen their prevention skills and educate their communities. Break the Cycle has helped 36,000 youth diagnose and escape abusive relationships – and achieve safety and justice. As one young woman explained: “Leaving him was not enough. I needed Break the Cycle’s help to truly be safe.” Let's be sure that others have help too.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 3; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax

Age Groups Served: Youth; Adolescence; Teenagers; Young Adult; Adult; Grades 6-12; Grade 9-12

Population(s) Served: Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Gays/Lesbians; Low- to Moderate-Income

Combined Federal Campaign Number: 31272

Awards & Recognition



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Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Break the Cycle is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue selected us as one of its featured charities! Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $29 million for charities across Greater Washington.

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