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Working to create a world free of violence & abuse
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Vision, MISSION, values, positions & HISTORY


Vera House Reception Area

our vision

A world free of violence and abuse.

our mission

Vera House, Inc. prevents, responds to and partners to end domestic and sexual violence and other forms of abuse.

our values

Our staff are dedicated to Vera House's five agency values:

  • Giving UNCONDITIONAL CARE to the people we serve and our community.
  • Working in COMMUNITY to advance justice and serve all who seek our support.
  • Providing TRAUMA INFORMED care to the people we serve and working toward healing for all.
  • Honoring INTERSECTIONALITY and centering the truths of the historically excluded and oppressed people we serve.
  • Embracing ACCOUNTABILITY for ourselves and our community as we strive to interrupt the social norms that cause harm.

our positions

  • We start by believing survivors.
    We prioritize survivor rights and safety no matter how they are connected to our organization. We understand the barriers to reporting and to leaving, we honor the courage to come forward, and understand the barriers that exist for those who do not report. Given the rarity of false allegations, we always start by believing survivors.
  • We center survivors in our work.
    We trust survivors to guide our work and center their voices and experiences. Safety and healing are defined differently for each survivor. We commit ourselves to trauma-informed care and understand that healing is not linear.   
  • We honor intersectionality and acknowledge the reality of marginalized and oppressed communities.
    We aim to create and hold space with marginalized people throughout their healing. There are different experiences and realities of people based on socioeconomic class, gender identification, age, sexual orientation, religion, residency status, ethnicity, and more. We strive to offer tailored responses that honor how these identities intersect in different ways depending on the person. We understand how systemic oppressions have kept communities silenced and/or jailed and the outcomes that frequently follow. 
  • We believe in policy over politics.
    We understand the effectiveness of using policy to advance the needs of survivors. We are nonpartisan in our work to advance policy that supports our mission.
  • We promote healthy masculinity and gender equality.
    We advocate for individuals to express their masculinity, femininity or other gender identity without fear of harassment or violence and understand that gender-based violence is not just a women’s issue. 
  • We uphold the importance of primary prevention.
    It is essential to prevent violence before intervention is needed. All members of the community are capable of engaging in violence prevention. We promote bystander intervention and providing supports. Silence is complacency.
  • We collaborate with community partners.
    We believe that a coordinated community response is essential to preventing and responding to violence and abuse. Different lived experiences and insights show the diverse ways in which domestic and sexual violence and elder abuse affect people’s lives, and how we can effectively respond. 

our history

On January 1, 2005, two agencies with similar missions, the Rape Crisis Center & Vera House became one merging their programs and staff in order to provide the same quality services. . . “together for hope and healing.” The merged Vera House, Inc. continues over a 40-year tradition of quality service to the Central New York community. The mission statement reflects the history of both merged agencies.

Rape Crisis Center was founded in 1974 by committed volunteers who saw the need for crisis, support and advocacy services for adult rape survivors. This mission grew over the years to include services for child victims of sexual assault and their families, preventive education programming and a team of nurses who provide 24-hour response for victims of sexual assault.

Vera House was founded in 1977 by a group of concerned individuals led by Sister Mary Vera, CSJ who recognized the need for emergency sheltering services for women in crisis. This original mission blossomed into a wide range of domestic violence services including outreach and advocacy, domestic violence education programming, children's counseling, and a domestic violence education and accountability program for people who cause harm in relationships.

Vera House is incorporated under NYS law. Annual reports are available by writing to:
Office of the Attorney General
NYS Dept. of Law, Charities Bureau
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271