Vera House Responds to Killing of George Floyd
We stand for equality and equity. We stand for allyship and advocacy. We stand for a world free of violence and abuse.
The killing of George Floyd, handcuffed on the ground with a knee on his neck, along with the numerous other lives taken out of hatred and prejudice, leaves us in despair.
As an agency, we cannot and will not remain silent against the continued injustice and oppression of people of color. We need to call attention to the black and brown lives that are taken because of racism. Not commenting because it is upsetting, because you’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist, or because you think it will go away if you ignore it is not an option.
We have come to realize that a world free of violence and abuse requires that we look at the connection between individual victimization and systematic oppression. We long ago recognized that sexism was a major contributing factor to domestic and sexual violence. We now recognize how other forms of oppression including racism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism and ableism, intersect with victimization.
The death of George Floyd is not an aberration. It is a representation of the truth we are living in.
In March 2018, Vera House released a strategic plan that highlighted the need for everyone within the organization to articulate and live allyship. We came to recognize the deep connections between domestic and sexual violence and other forms of oppression. The direct impact of racism on staff, clients and survivors required an intentional decision to address the challenges and harm. After an entire summer of staff development, we read the book “White Fragility” and engaged in deep, meaningful small group discussions. We encourage others to be proactive as well. Here are some ideas:
- Challenge abusive and hurtful language and actions, whether directed toward an individual or group.
- Teach yourself about both the history and current reality of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, racism and other forms of oppression. Some resources to consider are:
- “America’s Racial Contract Is Showing” by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
- “How To Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
- “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
- 13th, a documentary available on Netflix
- Use whatever power and privilege you have to engage your circle of influence in this work.
Let’s not ignore the injustice any longer. Let's stand up and do what’s right. Learn more. Act more. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, and help us change the world.
A Message to Andrew Cuomo
“The Friends of Andrew Cuomo” spent over $300,000 to launch an ad campaign designed to paint former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as a victim of political attacks because of the sexual harassment claims against him. We cannot allow this gaslighting to continue while the ad revictimizes victims of not only Cuomo’s sexual harassment but ANYONE who has ever experienced abuse. The tactics used by Cuomo and his supporters further represent the barriers that survivors face every day that prevent them from coming forward and getting support.
We at Vera House have asked Andrew Cuomo to take accountability for the harm he has caused on multiple occasions. Instead of admitting to his wrongdoings, he continues to use power and control to suppress and invalidate the truths of the survivors. Today we released a video, produced by Solon Quinn Studios and supported by Survivors’ Network, that sends a powerful message to survivors, "I believe you."
We are asking you to help us amplify the video so that survivors throughout New York and the rest of the world know that we believe and stand with them.
Here’s how to get involved:
1. Share our post on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter
2. Engage with our content on Instagram and TikTok
3. Share survivor support resources from your organization
4. Tag @verahouseinc
For any questions or to request an interview with a member of Survivors' Network, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org