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Vera House kicks off annual campaign

The annual campaign, which will be held from March 27 to April 5, is expected to raise more than $60,000 for Vera House education and awareness services and programs.

"The funds raised by the White Ribbon Campaign are critical for our programs and services, but even more important is the message of this campaign," Bregman said.

Kilpatrick said he hopes the drive will also educate youth about healthy relationships, citing a recent altercation between celebrity couple Rihanna and R&B singer Chris Brown as an example. Brown is being investigated in a recent, alleged domestic violence felony battery incident.

Adding to the plight, Brown revealed in a 2007 interview with Giant Magazine that his stepfather physically abused his mother.

"We have to model healthy relationships," said Kilpatrick, stressing the cycle of violence within families need to end. "It's so critical to educate young men and women the importance of healthy relationships."

Domestic and sexual violence statistics 2007/08

Syracuse Police Department

Answered: 10,398 domestic calls (2007); approximately 7,903 through September 2008

Answered: 387 sex offense calls (2007); approximately 312 through September 2008

Law enforcement outside the city

Answered: 5, 150 domestic calls (2007), approximately 3,886 through September 2008

Answered: 214 sex offense calls (2007); approximately 136 through September 2008

For more statistics, go to verahouse.org/coalition/07rtcjustice.htm.

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