#DolphinsLiveWell Ending Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

For those of you who may not be aware, Vera house is a domestic abuse and sexual violence resource within the Syracuse area.  The issue of gender discrimination against women has been part of society for centuries. One in three women are beaten or raped in their lifetime. This accounts for approximately one billion woman being violated.  Sister Mary Vera pioneered the Vera House mission in 1977 when she recognized the need for sheltering women in crisis. It is the mission of the Vera House to end all domestic and sexual violence, to assist families in crisis, to support those affected by domestic and sexual violence to live safe, self-sufficient lives, to empower women and children, and to promote a culture of equality and respect in relationships.

Vera House includes a wide range of domestic violence services for victims and offenders. Vera House has services in outreach and advocacy, domestic violence, educational programming, children’s counseling, the Syracuse Area Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition and a domestic violence education program for male perpetrators of violence. The workers and volunteers of the Vera House are constantly aware of the Vera House mission and aim to address the discrimination against women and promote gender equality.

In 1991, the first ever White Ribbon Campaign was launched by a group of men in reaction to the murder of 14 female students in Canada. This campaign has grown to become the largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls. The White Ribbon Campaign aims to make a cultural shift from the masculinity of men to gender equality.  These men have recognized that they play a role in creating a future that is safe for everyone. The campaign works to educate, reach out, raise awareness, and inspire men to help make the positive change away from the outdated idea of a dominant gender.

The Vera House foundation is hosting their 24th annual White Ribbon Campaign from Thursday, March 1 through March 31. During this month, men and women will be wearing a white ribbon or wristband to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence. By wearing this ribbon or wristband you make the pledge to not commit or condone any acts of domestic and sexual violence. For more information about these events you can visit the Vera House website www.verahouse.org  or if you need assistance, call the Vera House Crisis and Support line at 315-468-3260.  This year on campus we will be handing out brochures and flyers, giving out white ribbons and posting a pledge to never condone, support or commit domestic or sexual violence. Domestic and sexual violence is an unfortunately common problem on college campuses so it is extremely important that we help spread awareness and provide support to those around us. If you or a friend are experiencing abuse or violence, please contact the Wellness Center for Health & Counseling for confidential help and resources.  Please participate and show your support by wearing a white ribbon or wristband and attending events on campus. There is no excuse for abuse and the change can start with you!VeraHouse.docx