Women at the Helm

photo by Peter Lau
Executive Director, New York City Anti-Violence Project

Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), was drawn to human services through her experiences in 1989 as a hotline volunteer at a domestic violence shelter. She combined this interest with law, working as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society and at South Brooklyn Legal Services, where she directed domestic violence legal programs. “I don’t ever remember making a conscious choice to work for nonprofits; it seemed that a lot of important work was being done in community-based organizations and I wanted to be a part of that work,” Stapel says. She eventually gravitated to AVP where she devotes all her time, and then some, to working to eliminate violence against and within LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, offering support services to LGBTQH survivors of violence, and coordinating the National Coalition of Anti- Violence Programs.

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