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Sanctuary for Families

Freedom from gender violence

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Sanctuary for Families is New York's leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence.

The HSF New York office has supported Sanctuary for Families (Sanctuary) for a number of years. We act for Sanctuary clients who are seeking asylum in the USA, supporting them through the process and representing them in court.

The project has recently expanded to support Sanctuary's Matrimonial/Economic Justice Project which provides survivors of gender violence with legal representation to obtain child support, spousal support, and legal name changes.

Application for Asylum Success!

A team from our New York office recently represented an indigenous woman from Ecuador, who had been detained when crossing the US/Mexico border, in her application for asylum in the US Immigration Court. The woman had suffered horrific abuses in her country and was fearful that an order returning her to Ecuador would result in her suffering further violence and likely death.

The team carried out extensive preparation for the hearing including preparing submissions, conducting country conditions research, identifying and retaining a country conditions expert and obtaining corroborating declarations from witnesses.

At the hearing itself, the team secured a dramatic victory in Court, with the judge granting the client's asylum application from the bench and the US Government waiving its right to appeal.

In addition to the ongoing Pro Bono legal work which the New York office carries out for Sanctuary, volunteers from the New York office have supported Sanctuary's fundraising efforts by hosting Sanctuary's annual mailing event and have collected gifts as part of the organisation's seasonal gift programme for the adults and children it serves. HSF has also sponsored Sanctuary's "Zero Tolerance Benefit", an annual event which is attended by over 1,000 Sanctuary supporters and raises millions of dollars for Sanctuary.