Sharon Stapel is the executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP). AVP is the country’s largest organization dedicated to eliminating hate violence, sexual violence, and domestic/intimate partner violence affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities.
Stapel sits on the LGBT Advisory Committee to the New York Police Department and the New York City Family Court LGBT Advisory Committee. She is a stakeholder of the Vera Institute’s Promising Practice Initiative, a national effort with the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women to identify and share promising practices that have been developed since 1994 to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. She is also a partner in the National Center for Crime Victim’s national capacity-building initiative, which will build capacity in the crime victims’ field to better serve victims of crime.
Prior to joining AVP, Stapel directed domestic violence legal programs at South Brooklyn Legal Services and the Legal Aid Society, where she began her legal career as a staff attorney and created Legal Aid’s first dedicated domestic violence project. Sharon was an adjunct professor of law at CUNY School of Law and an adjunct assistant professor at Hunter College. Prior to going to law school, Sharon worked on anti-violence issues in South Africa with the African National Congress’s Youth and Women Leagues. Sharon began her career in anti-violence work in 1989 as a volunteer for a local domestic violence shelter in Massachusetts.