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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: To provide community resources and support services to victims, survivors, and families affected by domestic violence.

Programs: Survivor Sister Retreat: To support a leadership development program, which empowers female survivors of domestic violence as they partake in workshops devoted to promoting a positive self-image, individual development, life skills training, and enrichment courses. Angel Families Retreat: The Angel Families Retreat is an overnight program that hosts families who have lost loved ones from domestic violence. Attendees experience healing through group activities, intimate discussions, and workshops led by trained professionals, and through guided meditation and reflection. National Scholarship Program: Break the Silence against Domestic Violence recognizes and honors victims, survivors, children, and relatives of those affected by domestic violence through our annual scholarship program. Recipients must be committed to academic excellence, leadership, and community service. Holidays of Hope is our way of spreading love and cheer for children who have been devastated by domestic violence through surprise gift-giving. Jamie Campbell’s Grants of Hope Financial Empowerment: Provides survivors of domestic violence with financial assistance to help overcome economic challenges as a direct result from financial abuse. Survivor Helpline: Break the Silence against Domestic Violence now offers a unique service many other nonprofits typically do not. We offer a Survivor Helpline, which is answered Monday – Sunday. Confidential Social Media Support & Advocacy: Technology has been an increasingly popular outlet for survivors and victims of trauma to seek refuge. Our trained advocates provide support and care for those who are looking for help “anonymously.”

Community Stories

70 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I attended the Women's Revitalization Reatreat in May of 2016. After almost losing my life to my abuser in Dec 2009, I had already come a long way in my healing - however, I knew I would still get something out of going. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is an indescribable feeling to be around 35 other women who have been through what you have. I always had a large support system of family and friends, that being said, no one really knows how damaging it is to be in an abusive relationship unless they have been through it themselves. To have the support of so many others who understand you without having to explain yourself is an incredible feeling. I realized then that BTS is so much more than an organization, it is truly a family of survivors helping and supporting each other all over the country. I believe wholeheartedly in the mission and values of BTS and knew it was an organization I wanted to stand begind 100%. I now am an admin for the Facebook page, am co-chair of the fundraising committee, and serve on the Board of Directors. BTS has inspired and empowered me in more ways than I thought possible and I couldn't be more proud to be a part of such a phenomenal organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a survivor of domestic violence who endured all forms of abuse for over four years. By the time I was able to find a window of opportunity to escape my abuser in 12/2012, he had become so physically violent that risk of fatality was a certainty. While I have worked through so much of the damage that waited for me, I still occasionally struggle with PTSD triggers as well as recurrent health issues directly related to injuries sustained during the abuse.

When I left, I had not yet connected with Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence. I connected to the organization and its amazing founder, Kristen Paruginog, through Facebook in 2014. From the beginning, I noticed something special about her and BTS and became a regular donor. Recently, I was invited by Kristen into BTS as a blogger and social media admin. I feel blessed to have been able to witness not only the growth of BTS but how its passion touches and improves the lives of so many.

Not only is BTS committed to helping victims break free of abuse, Kristen has also made it a priority to provide continued support for survivors and invests herself fully in our healing and progress. Beyond that, BTS is actively involved in community outreach in terms of education and awareness of domestic violence. All the advocates and volunteers are bonded by the same passion to make sure we all can live lives free of violence. Kristen's enthusiasm, energy, and compassion are contagious, and we are all blessed with her and the collective group's passion to end domestic violence.

3 Amy_315

Volunteer

Rating: 5

How can I put Into words what this Organization has done for me? I pray that my words do justice because this was the beginning of a major life change for me.

As a survivor of childhood neglect and abuse as well as a survivor of domestic violence in my adult life, I stumbled on BTS by chance on Facebook.

For the first time I didn't feel alone in my feelings, overnight I became part of a "family" of survivors who understood me! I no longer felt alone because I never really was.

With the support of this new family of mine I opened up my broken heart and got real healing for the first time! I broke my silence.

I have attended the last 3 years of women's revitalization retreat. Last year as a leader to help others and will doing the same in 2017.

I went from being a broken victim to an empowered survivor/thriver.

I realized I am not my abuse, that is just a part of my story that doesn't have to define me. I was able to get the counseling I needed and work on breaking the cycle of abuse for future generations. As a family we have openly talked about and actively worked on our healing together.

I am in the process of writing my story in a book for healing and will actively be touring the country this year to speak to others about my transformation as an effort to empower others to break free of the chains of abuse.

Without BTS I never would have learned to love myself and found my true healer Jesus Christ along the way!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart

1 Doris12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BTS is an organization who truly cares for their members and their communities. It is an organization who makes you feel like family. As a survivor of domestic violence, you often feel alone. BTS removes that feeling of loneliness from those who have been through these tragic issues and embraces them as part of their family.

They not only help survivors through their retreats, grant programs, support groups, etc., they take proactive measures to help educate others so that domestic violence can be prevented.

The founder, Kristen, and her team are some of the most kindest and genuine people you can meet. They are not only passionate about the cause...they have lived it and understand what it is to be victimized and survive.

This is a great organization to get involved with and help support. You will help save lives!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

On May 22, 2016 a day before my niece Nevaeh turned 11 years old my older sister, Nevaeh's mother was murdered in her presence. Our family has been greatly affected by this tragedy. My sister was a victim of domestic violence and was unable to free herself from the situation. She was abused daily and felt like she was not worth anything but she was and is still worth more than she could ever imagine. My sister left behind five beautiful girls and two of them with disabilities. We have been blessed to have been able to have these wonderful people wrap their arms around us. I could write so much more but my heart is still aching at this moment

1 Megan146

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi!! I'm BTS Sister Meg :) I am a DV survivor of 15 years. I have been a survivor since 4/2014. I also have multiple sclerosis which makes me tired and quite sick often, along with physical and emotional DV trauma I live with daily. I am a disabled, single mother of 2 beautiful girls, Kylie and Zoey, ages 7 and 3. Their smiles and laughs light up my life. I have remained strong throughout everything I have been through thanks to BTS and continue to be an inspiration to so many through BTS and in my hometown in upstate NY. I am an admin of the BTS FB page, posting on Thursdays and the BTS NY/NJ page. I am also gearing up to be on the BTS survivor hotline soon. I went to the BTS retreat this past May and loved the experience. I found a loving sisterhood for life. They are truly like family to me. It's nice to know I'm not alone. I was a survivor speaker twice, once in my hometown and again in NYC for BTS this past October. It is my passion to help people along their healing journeys. BTS has made me not feel ashamed to tell my story or be hesitant to post anything DV related. I have found so much support and encouragement with BTS. I feel good that I broke my silence and BTS has been there for me all the way, which in turn encourages me to be there to help and heal others, as they did for me.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Break the Silence fills a very unique and much needed place of belonging for domestic violence survivors like me. My interaction with other survivors has been healing, but it is even more rewarding to know that my investment of time and money is literally saving and changing lives.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was murdered along with the man she was dating by her ex boyfriend. She left behind her son Caleb. I'm raising him now. He is such a blessing to me . I reached out to BTS after finding them on Facebook. They continue to remember not only my daughter, but also her son . They have helped us in continuing to live life and know that they love and care about us. No one else, let alone a large organization like BTS has shown us that kind of caring. Kristen Paruginog, the amazing person that started this is always working on new projects. Many of these include our angels that didn't make it and our families. I can't say enough about this wonderful, life changing organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed volunteering with BTS. From the beginning I have seen the founder, Kristen Paruginog, be concerned that no one else will find them self in the same situation that she was in. She tirelessly educates all will listen about red flags in relationships, what to do if you need to get out of an abusive relationship, and the organizatioin is help to reach out financially to help those wanting to be free, or who need help after they walk out of these relationships. Her vision is huge and she has a caring and compassionate heart. She has found others just like her to stand beside her and further her vision. I am amzed at what she has done in such a small amount of time.

2 Lee_58

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm so grateful and fulfilled to meet Kristen owner of BTS. The organization is so amazing. There are women from all over the states who emotionally, spiritually support my kids and I! BTS REALLY backs up every word they speak of. Definition of love, support, and healing!! I really was able to release pain I've been carrying for 13 years. I shed so much pain and anger being apart of BTS only 1 month lol! Ive gained lifetime friends!! I thank God for BTS who has created a Life changing experience for me!!

2 Chloe J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BTS is an innovative organization that puts victims as their top priority. It has been a privelege to work with them and I have learned invaluable lessons along the way. I am excited to work with them for years to come and to continue to be apart of the great strides they make in empowering victims and educating the public.

2 Jillian9

Client Served

Rating: 5

If it wasn't for BTS, I wouldn't have anyone to go to when I have questions or concerns regarding the abuse I went through. They have helped a lot. These women are amazing and so inspiring. I wouldn't know where I would be without them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Break the Silence has been a huge part of my healing process. I have tried to channel my energy into writing as I move forward into a better life, and now I'm able to do that as a part of BTS with positive feedback and support.

When I was struggling with some confusion on judicial protocol, someone from BTS even called the courthouse on my behalf to clarify some things. They go above and beyond to educate and help others. Amazing organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working with BTS for over a year now. The Founder is one of my good friends and we have worked on many projects together. Kristen was a Guest Speaker at an event I put on last year, The Women Empowering Women Forum. We then partnered up to create a Mentorship Workshop series for survivors of domestic violence. This 12 week workshop series taught our mentees many valuable personal and professional skills in order to be more productive in the work place. It was an honor to work with Kristen for those months. I then participated in Board meetings, team meeting and many of BTS's events all over San Diego. I HIGHLY recommend looking into and supporting BTS. My mom and best friend are survivors of domestic violence...this mission is very important to me and I see so many opportunities to support and love women who have experienced any form of abuse or violence.

1 Beth162

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found break the silence in the early morning of a sleepless night. I was broken in ways i didnt know how to handle. I didn't know where to go or what to do. I found an amazing support group of the most amazing people. They helped me through the worst of times and helped me become the advocate i am today. I have made some amazing friendships that will last a lifetime. Break the Silence helped me when I couldn't help myself. There is no words to express how much they helped me heal through the worst of the worst. I owe everything i am today to Break The Silence.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a survivor of domestic violence. When I first connected with Break The Silence I wanted to give back as an advocate and volunteer and had no idea of the transformation I was about to experience for myself. Connecting with other survivors has been truly amazing and very healing for me. I love attending the bimonthly empowerment meetings that BTS offers, there's always something new to learn and it gives me a chance to be with other women that understand me. I was completely broken inside and I've transformed into a confident and brave woman with the help and support of BTS.

Jennifer521

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was nearly killed in a violent attack by my husband in 2006. I continue to suffer physically. I went through life thinking I had recovered but after coming out with my own story about three years ago I ran across a post for a retreat in California. It was over my daughters 18th birthday but something told me I still needed to go. With full support of my kids, I boarded a flight to San Diego to attend a Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence retreat that would change my life forever. I have been an active advocate for BTS ever since. I regained my confidence and discovered through them who I was meant to be. I have returned to college, accepted a job as a reporter for an online news publication and work as much as possible to bring awareness to this state. I teach classes to educate the high school and college students as well as ban together women locally to find strength in each other support one another as much as needed. It is a bit difficult to juggle it all, but I know that BTS and it's founder is behind me, holding me up, and encouraging me to continue to strive for all my goals and dreams. Without BTS I would never be where I am today.

2 Alice49

Client Served

Rating: 5

Break the silence against Domestic Violence has personally helped me to grow, heal, forgive and have an over all better understand of myself. Through the help of their women empowerment groups I learned to love myself again, to search deep within myself and truly understand and accept that what happened to me isn't my fault. The women's group has been like family. They are so supporting, caring, honest and loving. I never felt out of place or like I didn't belong. This was always my safe zone. BTS has helped me to have my voice again and to educate my family, friends and colleagues. We do the best we can with the knowledge that we have but BTS helps you to fully understand what Domestic Violence is, how to deal with it, how to heal and how to learn from it. Now I can teach my family and friends about the warning signs and give them thr correct resources. I've added two photos from the women empowering groups and what you can expect. The first one is of a vision board we did in DEC 2015. On it are my year goals and expectations. The vision board was a great way to really put all your goals for the year into one spot. They gave us two hand outs with specific sections such as love, career, self love, family etc. This was a re fun project to do. The second one is of a hand out of a work shop entitled "what's love got to do with it?" This group was about truly understand what love is vs what you thought love was when you were a child. Along with how this effected you as an adult. They gave you a hand out to take home with recommended books and resources to look at, if you wanted to learn more. They gave you great relationship advice and what a healthy relationship should be like. The last picture is of their yearly conference. Free lunch is included with great workshops, self defense classes, motivational speakers and raffle at the very end. Everything is absolutely FREE! Free women's groups and conferences.How much better can it get. All you have to do is show up. BTS is just amazing and very educational. They just want you to be the best possible you. Thank you BTS for everything you do, especially for helping me and every single person you've helped so far. I highly recommend this organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence has made a big difference in my life, when I left my abuser, I was scared nervous depressed, I have learned so much about domestic violence from this site I learned it wasn't my fault,that I'm not alone, I shared my storu I read others story's I learned the psychology behind everything I had been through. I am so grateful for BTS

Kisha W.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was in an abusive relationship for 3 years. It was pure torture, until I left. It wasn't easy but I did it. Although nearly cost me my life, many were there for me. Especially when I found this organization, & meeting the director Kristen. They have a way of making you feel empowered, loved, and secure. I can always get inspiration from them when I need it.