>> Dorchen Leidholdt

Director, Center for Battered Women's Legal Services, Sanctuary for Families

Since 1994 Dorchen A. Leidholdt has served as the Director of Sanctuary for Families’ Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services.  The largest legal services program for domestic violence victims in the country, the Center provides legal representation in family, criminal, civil rights, public benefits, and immigration law for victims of gender violence and advocates for policy and legislative changes that further their rights. Dorchen also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), which she helped found in 1988.  An umbrella of grassroots organizations around the world, CATW has regional networks in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Dorchen has lectured internationally on violence against women and is the co-editor of the Lawyers Manual on Domestic Violence (2006) and the Lawyers Manual on Human Trafficking (2011) .

Dorchen holds a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Snow scholar.  Dorchen has received numerous awards in recognition of her service to victims of gender violence and also teaches Domestic Violence and the Law at Columbia University Law School.

Sanctuary for Families

Sanctuary for Families’ is the largest legal services program for domestic violence victims in the country and provides legal representation in family, criminal, civil rights, public benefits, and immigration law for victims of gender violence.  They are pushing to create a society in which freedom from domestic violence is a basic human right, and are dedicated to the safety, healing, and self-sufficiency of battered women and their children. They work to end domestic violence and its far-reaching impact through outreach, education, and advocacy, and to create a world where every woman and child lives with dignity.