Vera House

4:04 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Fuccillo Automotive Group Raises Over $200,000 For Domestic Violence Awareness Organizations

Billy Fuccillo of Fuccillo Automotive Group poses for a photo with staff from all the domestic violence centers which benefited from Fuccillo's fundraising efforts.
Credit Carolyn Blackburne

  Anyone who watches television in Central New York knows who Billy Fuccillo is. But today, he was in the limelight for another reason... that was also pretty huge. 

"With all the things going on around the country with domestic violence, we were able to kick in and contribute over 200k to domestic violence organizations," Fuccillo said. 

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Domestic Violence Report to Community
4:34 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

25 Years of Fighting Domestic Violence with a focus on the Work to be Done

Report to Community on Domestic and Sexual Violence shows police respond to 1300 calls for domestic disputes each month

  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.

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Campus Sexual Assault
5:28 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Local Colleges Might Take Cues from Calif Sexual Assault Law

California law stiffens rules, policies regarding sexual assault on college campuses that receive state financial support.

  Some Central New York colleges and universities might be paying close attention to a new California law aimed at curbing sexual assault. The law redefines the rules regarding sexual consent at public universities in the state. Vera House Executive Director Randi Bregman says that by shifting the scrutiny off of the victim… this law could encourage more women to report sexual assault.

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Coaching Boys into Men
2:07 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Syracuse High School Athletes Can Learn Lessons on the Field About Domestic Violence

The football team at Nottingham High practices Wednesday. Their field could become the classroom for lessons about domestic violence.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

Syracuse High School athletes are having talks about violence when they are not on the playing field.

The Syracuse School District is working with the local non-profit Vera House on “Coaching Boys into Men”.

It’s a violence prevention program that allows high school coaches to speak with male athletes about things like abusive language, the meaning of consent and accountability.

Nottingham high school football starting center Joseph Bell says he thinks the program will be a great opportunity.

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12:58 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Sen. Gillibrand Co-sponsors Legislation Aimed at Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY), center, and Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-Mo), right, at a Capitol press conference announcing the Campus Accountability and Safety Act.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is one of eight co-sponsors of a bipartisan bill aimed at bringing sexual assault on college campuses out of the shadows.  The Campus Accountability and Safety Act aims to create accountability and transparency on campuses by giving aggressively penalizing colleges and universities that don’t properly investigate sexual assaults.  

 Gillibrand says the survivors who come forward to tell their stories are the definition of courage.

Fines for under-reporting include up to 1% of an institution’s operating budget, which could amount to millions of dollars. 

Gillibrand says the confidential advisors can play a key role in getting survivors the services they need and assisting the investigation.

"She is able to know what her options are, what it would like if she did a college campus review, what it would look like if she went through the criminal justice system, and she can have complete control of her case.  Having that first entry point be someone who's well trained, which is not the case on college campuses today, so they actually ask the right questions in the right order so they save information that's needed later and give comfort to that  survivor, that will result in more reporting and more ultimate prosecutions."

The measure also requires a memorandum of understanding with local law enforcement so it’s clear who will take the lead on the investigation.  Gillibrand expects support for the legislation to grow in time, and hopes for floor time in September to make the case.  She’s optimistic the measure will pass this year. 


The Education Director of Vera House thinks the new legislation is a positive step forward. Loren Cunningham says while one piece of legislation can't address all aspects of the issue, it is important that colleges and universities will be held more accountable. 

   Cunningham says some of the local colleges and universities in Syracuse are more receptive than others to training and prevention activities, but adds Vera House has a good working relationship with most of them.
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