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Victoria Cruz

2012 National Crime Victim Service Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Victoria Cruz | National Crime Victim Service Award
New York City Anti Violence Project
Brooklyn, New York

Victoria Cruz is a passionate advocate for survivors of violence, a charismatic community leader, a gifted counselor, and a survivor in every sense of the word. She is a living model of empowerment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) survivors of violence who transformed herself from victim, to survivor, to advocate. 

As Senior Domestic Violence Counselor/Advocate at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, she goes above and beyond the scope of her job to advocate alongside, and for, those who face hurdle after hurdle when they reach out for help. Ms. Cruz advocates on behalf of her clients with law enforcement, the court system, the shelter system, the public benefits system, and the health care system to ensure that LGBTQH survivors of violence get what they need without bias, without prejudice, and with full access to services. She helps survivors seek safety from institutions and individuals that have committed violence against them. 

She has been there for those who survived violence to live with HIV for years, and ultimately lost their battle with illness. Thanks to Ms. Cruz’s active presence in their lives, many have been able to die with dignity, just as they lived with dignity. A committed advocate, she empowers her clients to stand up and speak for themselves, and she speaks for those who can no longer speak—those lost to violence through murder. Victoria is a leading voice in coalition work, bringing attention to issues of violence against LGBTQH communities and speaking out about sexual violence, dating violence, and intimate partner violence. 

Ms. Cruz’s work both saves lives and improves the quality of life for many in her community.