Downstate Coalition For Crime Victims Leads 28th Annual Vigil

A.G. Schneiderman, D.A. Vance, Other Law Enforcement Officials, Advocates And Community Members Gather To Commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Speakers And Victims Reflect On The Theme “New Challenges; New Solutions”

NEW YORK – The Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr today hosted the 28th Annual Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil. The Annual Vigil brings together law enforcement officials, victim advocates, community leaders and members to commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Reflecting on the theme “New Challenges; New Solutions,” speakers included A.G. Schneiderman, D.A. Vance, New York City Department of Corrections Commissioner Dora Schiro, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green, and crime survivors expressing the shared mission to end violence and deliver justice for its victims. The Vigil took on special poignancy this year in the wake of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut last December, and the bombing of the Boston Marathon just days before.

“We are proud to partner with so many leading voices at our annual NYC Crime Victims’ Ceremony and Candle Light Vigil,” said Susan Xenarios, co-Chair of the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims. “This is an opportunity for all New Yorkers to share a moving and healing event together as we honor and commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.”

“In our work to achieve a safer and fairer society, we must honor and learn from those who have suffered most at the hands of injustice,” said Attorney General Schneiderman, whose office co-sponsored the vigil. “As we begin National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, let us remember the lost, celebrate survivors’ strength, and redouble our efforts to keep communities safe.For those of us in law enforcement, we also honor those who have been lost by reaffirming our solemn commitment that we will do everything in our power to ensure public safety in every community.”

“This important annual event promotes awareness about those who suffer from violence and those who have been silenced by it,” saidDistrict Attorney Vance. “By coming together to honor this event, we renew our commitment to serving our communities and remembering those who have been affected by crime.”

The Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims Annual Vigil is a forum for community members to share insights, engage in problem-solving strategies and speak as a united voice on behalf of the all victims of crime and violence in New York State. This year’s theme, “Honoring Our Journey,” inspires reflection on the victims we have lost, the survivors we celebrate, and our collective work to promote justice in our society.

The Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims provides a comprehensive range of direct services and advocacy for victims of violence and other crimes, their families and the communities in which they reside. The Coalition’s mission is to inform and educate members and the public about current developments in legislation, our criminal justice and law enforcement systems, victim service and trauma treatment modalities and resources which impact on services and justice for victims and the crime victim movement on a local, state and national level.

With 97 members, including crime victim assistance advocate programs, government agencies and community based programs providers, the Coalition covers the five boroughs of New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester counties.

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