Domestic Violence – Break the Chain – A Play

If Domestic Violence – The Chain Can Be Broken

But, First, It’s Important to Understand It

illustration of a woman with a black eye and hand on her shoulder - domestic violence

Although I wrote BREAK THE CHAIN in 1990, it’s still relevant, as the cycle of violence remains in play throughout the world and throughout time. This play provides the audience with a way to begin understanding that is NOT highly traumatic or triggering in that it does NOT contain scenes of violence against humans or animals.

Before I describe the play elements for those who would like to produce it in schools, community theaters, or support groups, let’s take a moment to see the stats. These are the kinds of statistics that can be used in teaching people about the need for presentations on the topic and for the narrator to use, along with local resources, at the end of the play.

Hands holding a woman enclosed in a glass cage with rain pouring down on her - domestic violence

See National-level Statistics re Domestic Violence

The NCADV reports that more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence every year in the United States, and according to the same information, the number of incidents of intimate-partner violence in the United States increased 42% during the period between 2016 and 2018.

This means that domestic violence was on the rise when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and recent statistics reported by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine suggest that the isolation resulting from the pandemic is linked to the 25-30% surge in domestic violence cases in 2020, further aggravating a crisis that was already up-trending.  (Click Here for more info from this source)

Scared young girl with an adult man's hand covering her mouth - domestic violence

1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the US have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

An average of 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a single year.

About the Play, Break the Chain (of Domestic Violence)

This play may be useful in teaching children about how behaviors are passed down. I found it useful for couples who actually are engaged in the cycle of domestic violence when they gave me feedback after having been in the audience (much to my surprise!). (see below) 

Of course, domestic violence does not just occur by men assaulting women (verbally or physically), but it can involve the reverse pattern, or same-sex abuse, as well as savagery against kids and animals or elder abuse.

The playbook is available to individuals and for use in schools and community organizations at a reduced price for eligible non-profits. (details at the end of this post)  Learn More Now or continue reading first to see how many characters are required and what the staging is.

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A One-Act Play About Domestic Violence by Nancy Wyatt

With Diana Kerns (Contributor)

© 1990 Nancy Wyatt
All Rights Reserved

Dramatis Personae ~

The Cast of Characters

MRS. SMITH: A mother, who is experiencing domestic violence, but is in denial
All four scenes: her home (living room); counselor’s office; her living room (with phone)

CHRIS: MRS. SMITH’s son (grade school or junior high school age)
All four scenes: living room; counselor’s office; living room

MS. BROWN Teacher/Counselor at CHRIS’s school. She suspects he is a victim of domestic violence.
Scenes 2 and 3 – in her counseling office (desk, chairs, phone)

Patty: MRS. SMITH’s young daughter (young enough to play with dolls)
Scene 4 – living room with doll.

Narrator: The Narrator comes in after the actors are finished and speaks directly to the audience.

The narration provides more information about domestic violence. Ideally, the narrator will have information to share about local resources for people seeking help. Examples are emergency numbers, contacts with shelters for battered women and children, social services offices, counseling referrals, and support groups.

When I first posted this blog years ago, 12 million people (including men, women, and children) were known to be victims of domestic violence in America each year. My intent in publishing the Break the Chain script again today is to raise awareness about the problem and to suggest potential sources of help for both the abused and the abuser.


Scene 1: In the Smith living room
Scene 2: In the Counselor’s Office (desk + chair with two seats facing the counselor behind the desk. Counselor has a phone.)
Scene 3: Mother and son enter the house after a counseling session. Telephone available.
Scene 4: Mother + son in the living room; Mom leaves; Patty enters.
Scene 5: Narrator speaks to the audience from the bare stage. The use of a podium is OK.


The present.

I Was SO HAPPY When…

colorful figures with arms up in celebration and applause for play on domestic violence

I created, staged, copyrighted, produced, directed, and performed in Break the Chain in 1990. Volunteers of America booked the performance at a homeless shelter that they operated.

Both batterers and victims of domestic violence were in the audience, unbeknown to me. Happily, as they “looked at themselves in the mirror,” metaphorically speaking, all of them gave me a hugely positive response about how the play helped them understand the issues. As they told me “backstage,” for the first time, perpetrators and victims thought they could see what needed to be done to correct their own behaviors.

Their responses were more meaningful to me than any performing or literary arts awards could have been.

Let’s Talk First

Nancy (Ayanna) Wyatt 2023

Want a free chat about it? I’m not scary.

As a Life Coach and Holistic Healer with a broad background in voluntarism in shelters and prisons, as well as having an extensive background in business where sexual harassment is commonplace,  I’m not easily shocked nor will I be judgmental about you.

I also have a background in higher education and adult education, both of which are good places for the staging of this play on domestic violence. In those venues, the play can be used to set up a conversation that “gets real” and can be very therapeutic for the participants.

All info in our Sip & Share chat is strictly confidential.

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If you want to discuss it with me before deciding whether to use the play, I’ll be happy to schedule a FREE Sip & Share session on Zoom. Email me at and put “Domestic Violence Play Sip & Share” in the subject line, so that I’ll know to give you quick attention.

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Break The Chain Script & Payment Options

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You may send funds via PayPal or Zelle. I prefer Zelle, as so many scammers are doing their evil deeds using the PayPal logo these days.

  • If you do not use electronic funds transfers by PayPal or Zelle, I can email or snail mail the scripts, upon receipt and clearance of your payment (by Cashier’s Check or check). I do not accept credit card payments.
  • The minimum number of copies you may order is six (6).
  • The price is $10 per script above the minimum order of 6/$60 for commercial enterprises. A 10% discount is given for proven non-profit organizations.
    • Under copyright law, you may not copy or otherwise reproduce the material; so you need to purchase the number of scripts you will need for performance, and I will send you the necessary documentation which gives you the usage rights upon which we will have agreed in advance.
    • There are 5 characters in the play (2 women; 1 boy; 1 younger girl; and a narrator).  Keep in mind the need for the Director, Stage Manager, and any Production Assistants, Lighting, and other staff to have scripts.
  • When you order hard copies of the scripts, you will be charged a minimum $20 charge for shipping and handling. Note: the cost may be higher if I’m shipping more than 10 copies or shipping outside the USA.
  • Certified non-profit organizations may get a 10%  discount. To qualify,  you must provide a copy of the IRS letter confirming your non-profit status and your current business license.

Commercial Rates

Number of copies

Proven Non-Profit Rates (with your IRS documentation only)

Number of copies

“But Wait, There’s More…!”

I offer many more products and services, all of which we can discuss in a Sip & Share Session. Just use the same email and change the subject line to mention the topic of interest to you. If you want to take advantage of my writing and editing services, do this purple arrow indicating direction

Do It The Write Way! Let My Fingers Do Your Talking!

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About Nancy Ayanna Wyatt

In addition to being a writer/editor, creator of infographics, and a highly engaging presenter and trainer, I am an ethical, energetic, and multi-faceted manager, demonstrably successful in directing human and financial resource allocation, contract administration, policies and procedures development, and supervisory functions. I have managed diverse departments, ranging from business offices to police, to name only two, while working for multi-national corporations, non-profits, higher education, state government, and small businesses. I have created extensive procedures, manuals, and training programs. I use the Internet, MS Office Suite, and presenter software. I have created 3 Word Press websites "from scratch." I sell photos on merchandise at My earned reputation is for fair play and for keeping people informed at all levels. I am praised often for my communication skills, which include listening, public speaking, writing and editing, training, and interpersonal relationships with people of all ages, cultures and hierarchical levels. An example of a presentation is "How To Start A Business," for which I provide extensive notes in English and Spanish. Seminars on many topics may be booked through my website or by calling me. You also may hire me to create/and or present new teaching or training projects!

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