Break the Cycle, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering youths to end domestic violence, met Leigh when she needed help filing for a protection order against her abusive ex-boyfriend, who attended high school with her. For Leigh, a freshman, the abuse in her relationship started with jealousy and monitoring through social media. Her school environment no longer felt safe, and it had become impossible to continue her education without facing harassment and abuse. Prior to seeking legal support through Break the Cycle, Leigh’s supportive mom had called the school to set up meetings with teachers and the principal, but they did not respond.
Young people who engage in abusive behaviors are likely to continue these behaviors as adults, so educating youths about healthy relationships is critical to creating safe and productive communities.
*Image of “girl” via Shutterstock