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V-Day Statement on the Passing of Sister Mary Nerney


All of us at V-Day were heartbroken to learn of the passing of Sister Mary Nerney, a lifelong advocate for incarcerated women and survivors of domestic violence.

We are blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Sr. Mary over the years. As the Founder of STEPS To End Family Violence, her dedication to ending violence against women and girls was constant. The way she worked - with love, selflessness, and generosity - will continue to inspire and fuel us.

Sr. Mary was a pillar in her East Harlem community and a leader in the Catholic social justice movement. In addition to STEPS, she founded Greenhope Services for Women, the Incarcerated Mothers Program, and was a founding member of the Coalition for Women Prisoners at the Correctional Association of NY and co-chair of the Coalition's Violence Against Women Committee.

“When I had given up on myself and lost all hope of ever being released from prison...Sr. Mary was advocating for me. Telling people they should not forget...they must not forget. I will forever be thankful to her and for her...she became my mother.” -Donna Hylton, Community Health Advocate for the Coming Home Program and longtime V-Day activist.

We send our deepest love to the STEPS family, and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing and working with Sr. Mary.

In solidarity,