Will you walk with us?

1 in 3 teens experience dating violence. Join us on April 16th.

Did you know that 1 in 3 teens experience some form of abuse within their romantic relationships?

And yet, 81% of parents say they don’t believe teen dating violence is an issue, or don’t know about the issue.

Sanctuary for Families is dedicated to serving ALL survivors of domestic violence, regardless of their age. That’s why we’re co-sponsoring the NYC Teen Dating Violence Awareness Walk-A-Thon on Saturday, April 16th.

Will you join us at the walk? Register now.

Sanctuary staff, supporters and teen survivor-advocates will join hundreds of other activists to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall, bringing attention to the serious issue of teen dating violence in our city and around the world.

The walk will conclude with a press conference where survivors with share their stories, and a party hosted by Hot 97 with prizes, swag and music. All registered attendees will receive a gift bag, and Sanctuary attendees will receive a Sanctuary tee shirt.

How can you join us at the walk? Register online now – please disregard the payment request, as Sanctuary has already paid for your registration.

Attending the walk? Here are a few important details:

– The walk is scheduled for Saturday, April 16th from 9 am – 12 pm
– Meet the Sanctuary group at 9 am in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn
– Contact Martha Perez Pedemonti with any questions at mperezpedemonti@sffny.org.

Thank you for joining us at this exciting event!

Teen Walkathon

5 things you need to know about vacation cutting & FGM in the United States.

Vacation cutting affects more girls than you may realize.

Tell the New York State Assembly to stop vacation cutting in our state. Sign now.

1. The number of girls and women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) has been massively underestimated.

A new UN study reveals that over 500,000 girls and women in the United States have undergone or are at risk of undergoing FGM, a dangerous and non-medically necessary procedure that intentionally alters or causes injury to the female genital organs. This number is almost three times larger than previous estimates.

2. Girls in New York are especially at risk.

In the New York metropolitan area alone, over 65,000 girls are considered at high risk of undergoing FGM. Other states with high rates of risk include California, Texas, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

3. FGM is not a product of a single culture or religion.

FGM takes place in many different cultures, in the United States and around the world. It is NOT a practice tied to or condoned by any major religion, and in fact the practice pre-dates Christianity and Islam. Religious leaders across the world have denounced the practice.

4. FGM is illegal in New York State, but vacation cutting remains legal.

Vacation cutting is the practice of sending girls and young women out of New York, where FGM is illegal, to a country abroad where they can undergo the dangerous procedure. New legislation would make vacation cutting illegal in New York State, but since 2013 the state Assembly has failed to pass this critical bill.

5. You can take action to stop vacation cutting in New York.

Vacation cutting hurts girls and harms our community. We’re rallying supporters to sign a petition calling on the New York State Assembly to pass the vacation cutting ban. We need 1,000 signatures by February 29th to make a big impact. You can sign today.

#SeriouslyBloomingdales? Rape Culture Isn’t Funny.

High school girls and Sanctuary came together to tell Bloomingdales that rape culture isn’t funny.

Recently, Bloomingdales published a not-so-funny “prank” in their holiday catalogue. Here’s an idea, the ad suggests: “spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.” At Sanctuary, we know how pervasive rape culture is, in our city and on our campuses.

So we asked a group of high school girls, how did you feel after seeing the Bloomingdales ad? Check our their powerful responses:


Executive Director Judy Kluger contacted Bloomingdale’s CEO to share what they said. Read on for Judy’s letter. Rape culture is pervasive in our society – but we all have the power to call it out.

November 17, 2015

Mr. Tony Spring
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
1000 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Dear Mr. Spring,

Selling Bloomingdale’s products by promoting rape culture is far more serious than a simple “error in judgment.”

What message could you have possibly intended to send with the ad, Spike Your Best Friend’s Eggnog When They’re Not Looking? That it’s OK to become a date rapist for the holidays?

Any high school student would have known better. In fact, in our work to combat gender violence, we showed your catalogue ad to a group of students who are involved in a leadership program for girls. Their immediate reactions were visceral. The ad made them feel scared, disgusted and disrespected. One student asked, “Is Bloomingdale’s really promoting rape?”

We will never know the true extent to which date rape drugs – like spiked eggnog – are used.

But, as a former New York State Supreme Court Judge and sex crimes prosecutor before that, I do know first-hand how dangerous these powerful drugs can be. A common side effect is memory loss. Victims awake from a drug-induced state, sick, frightened, hurt and unable to recall the attack. And for those who are able to remember, they are often too embarrassed to report the crime. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 82 percent of sexual assaults are committed by a non-stranger, much like the “friend” in your ad.

Glamorizing violence against women in advertising is not new, but it is time to stop. It is time that advertising and media executives and industry leaders, like yourself, step up and pledge to stop perpetuating images that portray women as easy targets of sexual violence.


Hon. Judy Harris Kluger
Executive Director
Sanctuary for Families