Action Breaks Silence

Creating a world free from the fear of VAWG


Our Story

Action Breaks Silence UK was founded by Debi Steven in July 2013. A survivor of child sexual abuse herself, Debi is driven by her belief that all women and girls should be empowered to live their lives free from the fear and threat of violence being perpetrated against them.

Working alongside an international community of activists, academics and youth and drawing on knowledge gained completing her MA in Women and Child Abuse (London Metropolitan University), Debi designed the Action Breaks Silence Community Intervention which is aimed at profoundly changing the prevailing narrative on violence against women and girls (VAWG) 

A “Whole Schools Approach” (developed by Ava ) is used to engage, educate and empower all members of a schools community, including students, management, teachers and caregivers / parents with the goal of stamping out VAWG in schools and surrounding communities.

The Action Breaks Silence Community Intervention tackles sexual harassment and sexual violence and includes targeted strategies to address gender inequality and toxic masculinity which underpin harmful sexual behaviour. The design and delivery of the intervention is guided by the Social Norms and Active Bystander Theories.

The Community Intervention consists of:

  • The Train-the-Trainer programme
  • The Primary Schools programme to end VAWG
  • The Youth Ambassador programme
  • The Empowerment Through Self Defence Workshop for women and girls
  • The Understanding Toxic Masculinity Workshop for men and boys

In 2016, Debi founded Action Breaks Silence South Africa and in 2022 co-founded the Action Breaks Silence Foundation India. The three charities are independently governed by their elected Boards however all deliver the Action Breaks Silence Community Intervention to end VAWG with a focus on black and minoritized women and girls from communities that face a multitude of challenges.