Anti-Violence Project client “Nadia” has been granted asylum

New York City’s Anti-Violence Project’s client, who we will call “Nadia”, has been granted asylum on the basis of her sexual orientation.

Content note: portions of the following story might be triggering to survivors.

Nadia realized she was attracted to women at camp when she was around 14 but knew that she had to keep these feelings hidden. Nadia was born in Russia, a country which criminalizes LGBTQ identities through a “no LGBT propaganda” law. A few years after realizing her sexual orientation, in a moment of bravery, she argued with a teacher in front of her class that same-sex relationships were just as loving as any other relationship. This caused her to nearly be kicked out of school and almost kept her from continuing on to University.

It was at a University in St Petersburg where she met her first girlfriend. Still Nadia found the same prejudice and persecution she suffered in high school. One day, Nadia and her girlfriend were walking down a side street to a donut shop. They thought they were out of sight, but when Nadia kissed her girlfriend on the cheek, they were attacked by two older women. The attack left Nadia’s girlfriend severely injured with a broken leg.

Nadia came to the US on a student Visa and heard about the New Sanctuary Coalition’s free Tuesday night legal clinic. It was there that she met AVP’s staff attorney, Geoff Kagan-Trenchard, who volunteers with the New Sanctuary Coalition, and became a client in both AVP’s legal and counseling departments. After the application and interview process, she was granted asylum. While preparing for her case, she went to her first LGBT Pride Parade. She said it was the best day of her life.

Support AVP’s legal work today. 

If you are in need of legal services, call our 24 hour hotline at 212-714-1184. During business hours, you will speak directly with a Counselor/Advocate who will conduct a brief intake and forward your information and legal concerns to the Legal Services Department who will then schedule an in-person comprehensive legal intake. Legal appointments are usually made within one week, and faster in emergency cases.



AVP learns of incident in Hell’s Kitchen

AVP has learned of an incident involving a gay man in Hell’s Kitchen on August 14. 50-year-old Gregory Kanczes is reported to have been stabbed sixteen times by 25-year-od Geoffrey Tracy.  According to reports, Tracy stabbed Kanczes after Kanczes made sexual advances on him. They were living together.

Tracy was arraigned August 15 on charges of attempted murder and assault. Kanczes is in the hospital in critical condition.

AVP has reached out to NYPD, partner organizations, and to the office of Speaker Corey Johnson.


AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

AVP learns of a hate violence incident in Brooklyn

AVP has learned of an anti-gay hate violence incident in Brooklyn, NY. According to social media posts by a family member, a woman was walking in her neighborhood when a man started to follow her. The man taunted her saying “You think you’re a man? Since you think you’re a man, I’m going to treat you like a man,” before hitting her in the face. The survivor sustained severe injuries.

AVP has reached out to NYPD for more information and is working with partner organizations in the area to continue to build safer communities for LGBTQ and HIV-affected people.

If you witness hate violence, including physical violence, you can:
  • Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
  • Speak up, be LOUD, and call out what’s happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
  • Distract and divert the attacker’s attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
  • Record what’s happening by taking video on your phone.
  • Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.



AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

AVP learns of IPV-related incident in Astoria

AVP has learned of a potential intimate partner violence related incident in Astoria, NY. A 48 year-old man was found dead in the early morning hours of Thursday, August 9. According to media reports, the victim was found on the ground with cuts, bruises, and mouth filled with dirt.

Police are trying to locate the boyfriend of the victim’s ex-lover for questioning as it’s been reported he was last seen with him.

We have reached out to NYPD and partner organizations for more information.


AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.


NCAVP Supports The Reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), a coalition of more than 50 LGBTQ anti-violence organizations across the country, urges congress to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018. The bill was introduced on July 26, 2018 by Representative Jackson Lee and contains realistic and much needed enhancements to our current law.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) remains the only piece of federal legislation that includes explicit civil rights protections for LGBTQ communities. These protections have altered the landscape for LGBTQ survivors, particularly for those living on the margins- not only in setting the floor for civil rights protections in future legislation, but also in opening doors for many more survivors to access care and support during a critical moment in their lives.

Research shows that LGBTQ people experience high rates of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, and dating violence and far too many of these survivors are not able to access supportive services. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 44% of lesbian women, 61% of bisexual women, 37% of bisexual men and 26% of gay men have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Research on transgender communities is still limited, but the research that does exist shows that upwards of 50% of transgender people will experience intimate partner violence at some point in their lives.

These higher rates of violence are often due to the lack of LGBTQ affirming programs and services thus creating a barrier to inclusive prevention programming, safety planning, and supportive services. The resources that have been made available to LGBTQ programs as well as funds designated to training and technical assistance on serving underserved communities through VAWA has helped programs become better equipped to serve the unique needs of LGBTQ survivors. Without access to this funding, LGBTQ survivors would be harmed in even greater numbers.

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018 builds upon our previous success by affirming current protections for LGBTQ communities, including providing for enhanced data collection and an expanded focus on underserved communities. In addition, the bill also includes:

  • Improved healthcare responses for survivors including better coordinated response in the healthcare system.
  • Provisions to protect Native survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and dating violence and ensures that they can access the justice they deserve.
  • Protects survivors and victims from abusive partners with dangerous weapons.
  • Improved protections for survivors in federal public, subsidized and assisted housing.
  • Enhanced criminal legal responses so that survivors can access justice without fearing harm from law enforcement.
  • Increased funding for sexual violence prevention and education programs.


This bill reflects the field’s commitment to ensuring that all survivors have access to services and care when experiencing intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, and dating violence, particularly people of color, LGBTQ communities, people with disabilities, Native survivors, immigrant survivors, people in later life, faith-based communities and other underserved communities. As a result of a fully inclusive VAWA being re-authorized, more survivors will have access to necessary life-saving services reflecting our country’s deep commitment to address the needs of all domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking survivors.

Call your representatives today and tell them that you support a #VAWA4ALL

Anti-Violence Project Condemns Travel Ban

Eliel Cruz, Director of Communications, 212-714-1184

The New York City Anti-Violence Project unequivocally condemns The United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the unjust, overtly racist travel ban from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela and North Korea. This policy, enacted by Trump’s Administration through presidential proclamation, is rooted in islamophobia and white supremacy, architected to harm those who are, and perceived to be, Muslim.

Earlier this year, New York City Anti-Violence Project proudly joined an Amicus Brief with Immigration Equality, The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, The LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York, The Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Bar Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom.

As noted in the Amicus Brief, this policy will inflict unique harm on LGBTQ communities by removing potential forms of escape from often life or death situations:

“For LGBTQ individuals, this shutdown is not simply a bureaucratic inconvenience, but potentially a matter of life and death. A family-based visa delayed by the Proclamation is, in effect, a visa denied. Visa approvals thwarted by the Proclamation mean LGBTQ individuals must remain in hostile and unsafe conditions indefinitely, delaying reunification with family members in safe communities. The danger is heightened because merely seeking visas from local consular officials, while citing a same-sex relationship as the basis for a waiver, reveals applicants’ sexual orientations or gender identities to local communities and government officials. Moreover, because the Government will only provide waivers to applicants with ’formal’ and ‘documented’ close familial relationships, LGBTQ individuals — whose relationships are neither sanctioned nor documented by their countries of origin — stand to be disproportionately excluded from these waivers.”

AVP is acutely aware that policies like this one further enables hate violence and puts vulnerable communities at risk. The hateful rhetoric pushed by both the current administration as well as by a growing number of Americans fuels hate violence against those who are, and are perceived to be, Muslim. As an anti-violence organization, as Americans, and as queer people we refuse to stand by while the normalization of this hate based rhetoric grows.

AVP will continue to stand in solidarity with and support our Muslim community members. Join AVP today in New York City in Foley Square at 6pm to #StandWithMuslims.

As always, AVP is here for you. If you experience or witness violence you can always reach out to our 24/7 billingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141. If you need legal services, reach out through the hotline to set up an intake with our Legal Department.

About New York City Anti-Violence Project: AVP empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy. We envision a world in which all LGBTQ and HIV-affected people are safe, respected, and live free from violence.




NCAVP mourns the death of Karla Patricia Pavón in Dallas, TX

NCAVP mourns the death of Karla Patricia Pavón, a transgender woman of color, in Dallas, TX. According to reports, she was choked to death in her home. Police have arrested 24-year-old Jimmy Eugene Johnson III and believe robbery may have been the motive as Pavón’s items were found in his car. This is the 9th reported loss of a trans-person and the 7th trans-person of color this year.

While we mourn those we have lost to violence and hold their lives in our memory, we must continue to work to end violence in our lives and in our communities. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

We send our love to Pavón’s friends, family, and loved ones.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

This post has been updated as of May 22, 2018.

NCAVP Submits Response to Proposed Changes to National Crime Victimization Survey

NCAVP Submits Response to Proposed Changes to National Crime Victimization Survey

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced a change to the National Crime Victimization Survey that would raise the age for questions asking about sexual orientation and gender identity from 16 to 18 years old claiming concerns about the potential sensitivity of these questions for adolescents. Through our collaboration on the National LGBTQ Institute on Intimate Partner Violence, NCAVP has submitted comments to the Bureau of Justice Statistics denouncing this action as harmful to LGBTQ communities and dispelling the myth that these questions are harmful for adolescents.

For over 20 years, NCAVP has released reports with information on how LGBTQ and HIV communities are impacted by violence, including hate violence and intimate partner violence. Through these reports, we have witnessed the power of information and data collection in advocating for the needs of LGBTQ survivors of violence.

Simultaneously, we advocate for data collection systems that are sensitive to the needs of survivors, private, and confidential. The NCVS already meets national standards for data collection, and this decision by the BJS should be called out for what it is – a political move that aims to erase the experiences LGBTQ survivors of violence.

NCAVP will continue to advocate for safe and inclusive data collection systems so that our experiences are counted and the violence that we experience can be meaningfully addressed.

Read full comments: NCVS Institute Comments