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Post date: April 10 2016

A.G. Schneiderman, D.A. Vance And Downstate Coalition For Crime Victims Lead 31st Annual Vigil

Vigil Is Part Of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Speakers And Victims Reflect On The Theme “Rebuilding Trust, Restoring Hope”

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance and The Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims today hosted the 31st 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 “Rebuilding Trust, Restoring Hope,” speakers included Bronx D.A. Darcel Clark, advocate Neil Heslin, and crime survivors expressing their shared mission to end violence and deliver justice for victims. 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 all victims of crime and violence in New York State.

“In our work to achieve a safer and fairer society, we must honor and learn from those who have fallen victim to violent crime,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “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.”

“Remembrance, reflection, and supportive services are crucial to moving forward after a traumatic crime occurs,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. “That’s why it is so important that survivors, service providers, and law enforcement gather together every year in this space to strengthen our support network for crime victims and their loved ones.”

“We are proud to partner with law enforcement officials, advocates and community members at our annual NYC Crime Victims’ Ceremony and Candlelight 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.”

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said, “As prosecutors, we serve victims first and foremost by bringing them some comfort in the form of justice. Today we commemorate lives taken by crime and we commend the survivors who courageously share their stories with us. But we will truly honor them by making our communities safe.”

With over 100 members, including crime victim assistance advocate programs, government agencies and community-based programs and providers, the Coalition covers the five boroughs of New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester counties.