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AVP History

In 1980, the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) was born in the streets of Chelsea, created by community activists in response to a series of brutal attacks against gay men.  AVP remained an all-volunteer organization until 1984, when the first full-time Executive Director was hired.  With full-time staff, AVP was able to broaden its services to provide professional counseling to survivors of hate violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence and HIV-related violence.  Today, AVP provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) people each year from all five boroughs of New York City.Today AVP is the largest anti-violence program in the country dedicated to eliminating hate violence, sexual violence and intimate partner violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) communities through counseling, advocacy, organizing, and public education.

AVP is a social change, non-profit organization that provides both immediate intervention when violence occurs, and helps survivors of violence become advocates of safety. Using a community-building approach to violence prevention, AVP affirms the right to which every person is entitled: safety. AVP encourages LGBTQH communities and our allies to take action that ensures access to support and works to end violence.

Beginning with a confidential phone call to AVP's free, 24-hour, bilingual hotline, from an LGBTQH person – in the wake of hate, sexual or intimate partner violence – and continuing through support and advocacy, AVP empowers survivors of violence to be safer and stronger. In 2010 AVP launched a community-based direct service program and we have intake sites in five boroughs – to reach people where they live, work and hang out – while also increasing the span of our outreach and organizing throughout New York City.

For three decades, AVP has been on the leading edge of violence intervention and prevention in the five boroughs of New York City. In 2011 AVP was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for our work on intimate partner violence in LGBTQH communities. AVP's Board received the Stonewall Foundation's Alan Morrow Prize for Board Excellent in 2010 and Attorney General Eric Holder recognized Victoria Cruz, AVP's Senior Intimate Partner Violence Counselor/Advocate with the National Crime Victim Service Award in 2012.

AVP does not exclude any form of violence from its mission and has become the principal organization for building strength within LGBTQH communities. Owing to our broad scope and reach – answering 3,000 hotline calls and positively reaching more than 25,000 people each year - AVP relies upon generous financial support both from LGBTQH communities, as well as individual, foundation, and corporate sponsors.

AVP's work to end violence against and within LGBTQH communities has resulted in the expansion of local and national resources for LGBTQH survivors and has addressed the root causes of this violence. AVP has created, supported and led city, state and national coalitions to address LGBTQH violence, which has strengthened our ability to respond to the unique and ever-evolving needs of LGBTQH survivors. At a time where the recognition of the rights of LGBTQH people is quickly evolving in this city, state and the country, AVP has worked to end and prevent the pervasive and persistent violence our communities face. AVP works to change attitudes that tolerate or instigate violence within and against LGBTQH communities through high quality direct services, public education, coalition and collaborative work, advocacy, and community organizing at a local, state, and national level.

Recent Awards

2013 Brooke W. Mahoney Award for Outstanding Board Leadership

2013 Stonewall Community Foundation Visionary Award

2013 NGLCCNY Social Enterprise Industry Award

2012 National Crime Victims' Service Award

2012 Lambda Independent Democrats

2012 Urban Justice Center, Social Impact Award

2012 Lambda Independent Democrats, Brooklyn Lambda Award

2011 White House Champion of Change

2010 Stonewall Foundation's Alan Morrow Prize for Board Excellence

2010 Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence, In the Trenches Award