Our Staff

Our team has more than 50 years of combined experience working at the intersection of disability and abuse and have diverse backgrounds in disability, domestic violence, sexual violence, nonprofit management, and more. We also maintain a growing network of policymakers, practitioners, and first responders who are successfully changing their systems for the betterment of survivors with disabilities and frequently call on them to provide peer learning to the communities we support.

Nancy Smith, Director

With more than 15 years experience in the area of victimization of people with disabilities, Ms. Smith directs the Center on Victimization and Safety at the Vera Institute of Justice, and oversees its portfolio of work aimed at addressing abuse of people with disabilities. Read Full Bio
Phone: (212) 376-3096
Fax: (212) 941-9407

Charity Hope, Deputy Director

Ms. Hope brings over 18 years experience in nonprofit management and working towards social justice. Currently, as a project director for the Center on Victimization and Safety, she oversees a variety of national training and technical assistance projects designed to ensure that victims and survivors who have not traditionally been able to access victim services are able to do so. Read Full Bio
Phone: (212) 376-3096
Fax: (212) 941-9407

Sandra Harrell, Associate Director

Ms. Harrell began working in the anti-violence against women movement in 1990 volunteering at the local domestic violence shelter. Today, as a project director at the Center on Victimization and Safety at Vera, her work focuses on helping individuals, organizations, and communities across the country address violence against adults and children with disabilities. Read Full Bio
Phone: (212) 376-3096
Fax: (212) 941-9407

Katie Allen, Program Associate

Katie Ashwill Allen is a Disability Access Liaison in Vera's Center on Victimization and Safety (CVS). Katie creates and implements the language access, accommodations, and inclusion plan for the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims (NRC). Katie guides NRC partners through creating and dist... Read Full Bio
Phone: (646) 877-1030

Jannette Brickman, Senior Program Associate

Jannette Brickman has been involved in domestic violence policy, reform, or direct service since 1992. She joined Vera in October 2010 as a Senior Program Associate. Jannette provides training and technical assistance for the Accessing Safety Initiative, providing training and technical assista... Read Full Bio

Ashley Brompton, Program Associate

Ashley Brompton joined the Center on Victimization and Safety as a Program Associate in November 2016. She brings passion and knowledge about individuals with disabilities, particularly intellectual and developmental disabilities, and victimization. At Vera, Ashley provides technical assistance t... Read Full Bio
Phone: (646) 992-1131
Fax: (212) 941-9407

Zasha Villa Cardoso, Center Coordinator

Zasha Villa Cardoso joined Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety (CVS) in July 2018. With a background in gender and sexuality studies and passion for empowering and supporting victims and survivors, Zasha assists the CVS team as a center coordinator. Prior to joining Vera, she ran her own bus... Read Full Bio
Phone: (212) 376-3167
Fax: (212) 941-9407

Jennifer Decker, Program Associate

Jennifer Decker works as a Program Associate for the Center on Victimization and Safety. As part of the Accessing Safety Initiative, she works with collaborations striving to improve services to victims of domestic and/or sexual violence who have disabilities or are Deaf. She brings many years of ex... Read Full Bio

Leslie Myers, Senior Program Associate

Ms. Myers joined Vera in October 2010 as a senior program associate for the Accessing Safety Initiative. She brings over 20 years experience working to end violence against people with disabilities. Currently, she provides training and assistance to grantees across the country who want to end abuse of people with disabilities. Read Full Bio
Phone: (630) 486-3367
Fax: (212) 941-9407

Kaitlin Shetler, Senior Program Associate

Kaitlin Shetler has her masters of social work from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She works for Vera Institute of Justice as a senior program associate providing technical assistance for the Office on Violence Against Women’s disability grant program and the Deaf and Disability Resource C... Read Full Bio
Phone: (646) 629-9691