Vera House is celebrating its 25th Anniversary of fighting domestic and sexual violence today by allowing survivors to share stories about overcoming their abuse.
Jennifer explained how a period of abuse in her childhood led to decades of confusion and frustration in trying to cope with her experiences. She says she has learned to embrace the title of Survivor with the others that describe her life.
“As I stand here today 25 years later, I am nothing but proud to say I am a professor, a wife, a mother and a sexual abuse survivor. I no longer focus on the words ‘sexual abuse’, I focus on the word ‘survivor’.”
REPORT HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2013
- Two Intimate Partner homocides in Onondaga County (avg. 3-5 annually)
- Syracuse Police answered 10,188 domestic calls (10,703 in 2012)
- County Sheriff, State Police, Town and Village police answered 7507 domestic calls (7626 in 2012)
- Syracuse Police arrested 1366 domestic violence perpetrators
- County Sheriff, State Police, Town and Village police arrested 1088 domestic violence perpetrators
- Onondaga County Special Victims Bureau prosecuted 664 felony arrests and 347 misdemeanors between relationship partners or ex-partners.
- Onondaga County Special Victims Bureau prosecuted 60 felony arrests and 14 misdemeanors for child sexual abuse
Along with issuing their annual report on domestic and sexual violence, Vera House is focused on what they feel still needs to be done to fight abuse. This work ranges from explaining the impact of domestic violence in the news to workshops for teenagers on digital violence in the form of cyber-bullying.
Vera House Executive Director Randi Bregman says prominent examples of domestic and sexual violence highlight the ongoing vigilance the community must have:
"It’s good if you stop talking about the N-F-L. In our community everyday people live in fear in their homes. They’re sexually assaulted against their will. Each of us has to make our commitment from this day forward to do our part, not to be bystanders. "
LIST OF VERA HOUSE PROGRAMS: HERE
The report itself indicated that there were 600 fewer domestic violence calls answered by Syracuse and Onondaga County Law Enforcement in the most recent year. The data also showed that there were fewer intimate partner homicides last year than on average. Vera House hopes through their efforts these numbers will continue their decline.