Waking up and going about our normal routine has been a little different the past few weeks while trying to combat COVID-19. But, having a daily routine change is something a violent crime survivor or the family of a homicide victim knows all too well — “normal” no longer exists.
This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, set aside to remember the violent crime survivors, as well as those who lost their life because of a violent crime.
“So many people are aware what a victim’s family actually goes through when they have lost a loved one due to violent crime,” said Shelly Linderman, director of the Wiregrass Angel House. “We have victims who have survived a violent crime. Everyone has just had their lives changed forever. For the victims who have survived a violent crime, you are truly survivors. The victims never need to be forgotten.”
Each year, local crime victim advocates gather to show their support to the survivor victims as well as to the families who have lost a family member to a violent crime. This year will be a little different, but the victims are being honored and remembered.
“This year, due to the coronavirus, we are showing our support on social media,” Linderman said. “Multiple families are participating in this event, sharing their stories, but most importantly sharing the victim’s story. I urge everyone to visit our Facebook page. Take a few minutes and hear each story shared. This will allow everyone time to reflect on victims of violent crimes. Reflect on all victims of violent crimes whether it be a homicide victim, a domestic violence victim, a rape victim, or a child abuse victim. Just take time to remember the victims. Share a message with the families.”
The goal of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is to let the survivors know they are not forgotten. The victims have rights and we need to remember that, she said.
“Remember, you are not alone,” Linderman said. “There are plenty of organizations dedicated to walking with you and the families affected by a violent crime, every step of the way. You’re not alone, so don’t try to go through it alone.”
Attorney General Steve Marshall will host a virtual Candlelight Vigil Friday at 7 p.m. and broadcast the event live online.
“This is National Crime Victims’ Week, a time when we reflect upon the terrible trauma suffered by crime victims and remember all those who have lost to a violent crime,” Marshall said. “I believe it is important for the people of Alabama to be able to honor and pay tribute to victims of crime. That’s why I invite everyone to watch this event Friday at 7 p.m. by visiting AlabamaCandlelightVigil.com.”