STEPS to End Family Violence

If you need help, call our Helpline
877-STEPS-94 (877-783-7794) Mon-Fri, 9am to 6pm
or the NYC Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673).

If this is an emergency, call 911.

STEPS to End Violence (STEPS) is a holistic program of services for victims of gender-based violence with a focus on prevention, intervention, and policy advocacy. Spurred by a call to action resulting from an historic hearing at Bedford Hills Women’s Prison in which twelve women testified to their histories of battering and its relationship to the charges which eventually brought them to Bedford, STEPS has been providing holistic, trauma-informed services since 1986. Begun with a staff of two as a court advocacy project for battered women defendants, the program has since grown exponentially and now reaches over 5,000 New Yorkers each year.

Training, Consultation, and Outreach

STEPS staff and leadership have presented at numerous conferences, including the International Community Justice Summit in San Francisco. Our court-based work around sex trafficking was presented at Columbia University’s Reframing Freedom: a Critical Approach to Modern Slavery Conference in April.  Internationally, STEPS staff have presented or served as panelists in policy-shaping actions, including most recently in 2013 at the United Nations where we were invited by Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to participate in an expert working group to discuss causes, consequences and conditions of violence against women in custodial settings. This international work has included hosting visits from the Australian government, a Chinese non-government organization (NGO), Oxford University, and the government of Great Britain. STEPS has also served as a technical assistance provider to the government of Ghana in their effort to incorporate services for domestic violence victims into their judicial system.

We have developed an array of training curricula for professionals and community members and are available to provide training and consultation on such topics as:

  • Domestic Violence 101 and advanced
  • Domestic Violence and Children
  • Teen Dating Violence
  • The Dynamics of Sex Trafficking
  • Multi-abuse Trauma
  • Safety Planning
  • Working with Battered Women Defendants
  • Providing Jail-based Group Services
  • Vicarious Trauma/ Compassion Fatigue


October 6, 2016

STEPS supports new Legal Aid Society lawsuit against City of New York

Posted by: Lucia Rivieccio

STEPS stands in solidarity with a new lawsuit against the City of New York brought forth by the Legal Aid Society. Targeting Section 240.37, loitering for the purpose of prostitution, the lawsuit stipulates that the section is unconstitutional on its face and also because it is unlawfully enforced by NYPD officers who target women for arrest based on …

February 25, 2016

Three Cheers for Councilmember Laurie Cumbo!

Posted by: Lucia Rivieccio

On February 9th Councilmember Laurie Cumbo visited our Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP) at the Prospect Heights Educational Campus for an event in honor of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness month and Respect for All week. RAPP Coordinator Rachel Manikian-Grossman, provided a Teen Relationship Abuse Prevention workshop to 40 students on the school cheerleading squad. …

February 5, 2016

STEPS Featured in NYS OPDV Winter Bulletin

Posted by: Lucia Rivieccio

STEPS to End Family Violence and its Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP) is featured in the Winter Bulletin of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence in honor of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Our bullying and abuse prevention work in school communities is highlighted in a stirring essay, “Bullying …

December 18, 2014

Jesenia Santana Pushes for DVSJA

Posted by: Lucia Rivieccio

Jesenia A. Santana is leading the charge for STEPS through our membership in the Coalition for Women Prisoners to advocate for the adaptation of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA) in New York State. Click through to read more about the DVSJA.

Sharon Richardson Article

October 29, 2014

Sharon Richardson at CUNY Graduate Center

Posted by: Lucia Rivieccio

ReEntry Specialist, Sharon Richardson, spoke on a panel at CUNY Graduate Center on 10/9/14. The panel was part of an event, PRISON IS A FORM OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, highlighting women and transpeople’s struggles against “protective” isolation, the criminalization of self-defense, and negligent healthcare. To read more about it, click through to the original article.

Sr. Mary Tribute

November 27, 2013

Sr. Mary Nerney Passes Away at 75

Posted by: Lucia Rivieccio

Sr. Mary Nerney, Founder of STEPS to End Family Violence and Greenhope Services for Women, passed away early this morning.  A dear friend, mentor, and teacher to many, she was diagnosed with stage four melanoma in October and has been surrounded by her dear friends and family for the past several weeks.  Sr. Mary was …

Rikers Article

December 17, 2011

At Rikers Island, a Lens Is a Mirror

Posted by: Lucia Rivieccio

Each year our STEPS to End Family Violence program organizes a Thanksgiving dinner and a December family party for women in our program who are detained at Rikers Island. Over a two year period we worked with photographer, Clara Vannucci, to document our programming. The New York Times highlighted this work with an interactive article, …