Vera House Responds to Gov. Cuomo's Resignation
Last week, Vera House and many other anti-violence organizations and leaders called for Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign in response to the attorney general's report that he sexually harassed multiple state employees. Although we are relieved that Governor Cuomo resigned today, this is not vindication. Until the last moment, his attorney was disparaging the attorney general's report and his accusers. He also continued to claim innocence, saying, "In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn."
The line was not redrawn. It was always wrong to ask employees if they had sex with older men or for a supervisor to run their finger down an employee's spine without their consent. We are now just acknowledging lines that have always been there. The governor knew or should have known where the lines were. Some of the sexual harassment legislation he supported helped clarify them.
In our work, we often talk about intention versus impact. We teach that people need to be accountable for hurting others, even when it wasn't their goal. In the governor's case, it seems clear that his intention was, in fact, to flirt, exert power over employees and potentially have relationships with them.
But even if that weren't the case, his impact alone on victims has been deeply harmful—making them feel unsafe at work, chilling their ability to speak out and now subjecting them to public criticism. We're grateful that they still came forward and helped hold the governor accountable. May we grow toward becoming a culture that values the courage of victims and honors their truths.
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