Break the Cycle is a private, nonprofit organization that seeks to end domestic violence by working proactively with youth. Founded in 1996, it includes a preventive education and outreach program, a legal services program, and a peer leadership program. All three programs focus exclusively on youth aged 12-22 years. In 2000, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded a five-year demonstration project to implement the program and study its impact on Latino youth in Los Angeles, California. The evaluation of the Break the Cycle program for Latino youth described in this paper had the following goals: a) to enhance programmatic cultural competence so Latino youth could be better served; b) to implement a process evaluation and a rigorous experimental outcome evaluation to provide data on program efficacy regarding knowledge, attitudes, help-seeking behaviors, and exposure to and perpetration of dating violence; and c) to provide a model for expansion of this program to other parts of the nation. Lessons learned from this evaluation are expected to inform other prevention efforts and to guide policy on the prevention of dating violence among youth.
Reprinted with permission from Preventing Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence in Racial/Ethnic Minority Communities: CDC’s Demonstration Projects, 2007, pp. 101-115.