Break the Silence
Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence is a 501 (c) (3) designated public charity (filed as of 2012), which was inspired by the founder and executive director, Kristen Paruginog. Kristen found herself in an abusive relationship at the age of 18 years old and succumbed to her abusers violence for three consecutive years. The relationship began without clear identifiable warning signs of teen dating violence and gradually escalated to verbal, mental, emotional, and physical abuse.
In December of 2011, Break the Silence was launched as a social media fan page on the fastest growing social network, Face book. Preceding this public announcement, Kristen shared her personal story of survival with an immediate family member, whom then encouraged her to take the proper precautions in her safety measures by obtaining a restraining order through the local Family Justice Center and also pressing criminal charges for the extensive list of abuse the perpetrator inflicted on Kristen.
Through Kristens advocacy work, she has been educated about the reality of domestic violence and the factual information behind this growing epidemic. Approximately 1 in every 4 women will become a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime (National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 2000). This alarming statistic typically shocks the many audiences Kristen has spoken in front of across the County of San Diego. Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence (U.S. Department of Justice, 2006).
Education is an integral part of our organization. The close connection we can make with our audience is turn-key in this day in age. Kristen is a 23-year old survivor of domestic violence, a college student, a pageant winner, and more importantly a young woman who could be your neighbor, friend, sister, or niece. Realistically, domestic violence could happen to anyone regardless of their ethnicity, age, gender, or sexual orientation. Break the Silence is becoming the leader in social change due to the large support and interest from such a wide demographic because of the innovative approach our organization follows to attract their attention. Break the Silence strongly believes in educating students as young as 10-12 years of age about healthy relationships, self-confidence, respect, and anti-bullying efforts. It is crucial to target this demographic because of the dire need to break the cycle.
Break the Silence has been extremely successful in growing our social media network. On average, our Face Book site attracts 50-60k viewers weekly in 28 countries worldwide. Our online efforts have encouraged hundreds of men and women to break their silence against domestic violence and begin their healing process as survivors of intimate abuse. We have received an unprecedented amount of positive feedback because of the courage Kristen carried forward by sharing her personal story of triumph. Our organization will be expanding outside the traditional realm of domestic violence advocacy by utilizing a wide range of media outlets to include radio public service announcements, televised informative commercials, and billboard advertisements.
Our organization has grown tremendously in such a short time period and has been recognized by other established domestic violence organizations across the world. We have been featured in many public arenas and have been published in a multitude of newspapers, online subscriptions, and referenced in many conferences held globally.
Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence
Our mission is to inspire victims and survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault by breaking the silence and empowering these individuals to embark into new beginnings for a healthy self-sufficient future.