Kristen Paruginog, Founder
Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence
By sharing her story of domestic violence, Kristen Paruginog has empowered others to be able to break their own silence and make courageous steps forward in their own lives.
At 18-years-old, Kristen Paruginog found herself at the beginning of what would turn into an abusive relationship. At 22, after years of physical and verbal abuse, she was finally able to escape the relationship and take courageous steps forward in the process of self-healing. After realizing how many others had endured similar abuse, Kristen decided to start Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence (or BTS) as a way to share her own story and connect with others. In her own words, Kristen says, “Although I went through a very painful and tragic relationship, I wanted to be able to build enough courage and build enough strength in myself that I would be able to give it to someone else”
BTS started off as a Facebook page, which Kristen created a month after she left her abusive relationship. Since then, the Facebook page has over 55,000 likes and continues to grow, and BTS is now a 501c3 non-profit which educates communities on domestic violence, coordinates innovative awareness campaigns, and assists survivors as they move forward in their lives. BTS has connected with and inspired thousands of survivors across the nation. Kristen has been featured in Glamour Magazine, local news stations, and the nationally televised Investigation Discovery.
Kristen has not only survived domestic violence, but took the pain from the relationship and made it into something impactful and beautiful through BTS. We are thrilled to honor Kristen with the “I Leap Award” for her courageous actions.