SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Vera House’s Co-Executive Director, Randi Bregman, said the Attorney General’s report on Governor Cuomo provided some relief.
“We felt that the truth of the survivors was honored and shared, and that felt like in a really important step for our community, our state, and our world in trying to address sexual harassment,” said Bregman.
In some ways, this can make it easier for others to come forward, but Bregman said it can also make it more difficult.
“The Governor is still the Governor and he has continued to shift responsibility and cause further harm to the victims,” she added.
In a prerecorded statement Tuesday, Governor Cuomo said, “I have been making the same gesture all my life I learned it from my mother and from my father. It is meant to convey warmth, nothing more.”
“He continues to say this is the way I was raised, this is what we do in Italian culture, but the sexual harassment law he promoted relies on the experience of the victim or survivor. It doesn’t matter what you say is your comfortable experience. You need consent and he didn’t have consent. So I would like to see him take responsibility.”Randi Bregman, Vera House Co-Executive Director
Bregman said one of the most striking parts of the report was the state trooper who was on Cuomo’s detail.
“There’s almost a grooming pattern to it, which we often see in both sexual abuse and sexual harassment. So, the governor chose her, changed rules in order to allow her to be closer to him to get a perk to be on his detail, and then began with verbal statements that caused her harm,” Bregman explain.
Vera House provides advocacy, counseling and emotional support to victims and survivors.
“Or if they want help navigating their own workplace or filing a complaint with the division of human rights, whatever it may be, we stand here ready to support any victim or survivor of anyone who’s committed sexual harassment against them,” Bregman explained.
Here’s the phone number for the 24/7 Crisis and Support Team from Vera House it’s (315) 468-3260 or you can use their web chat: https://www.verahouse.org/online-chat-service.