Candlelight Vigil Is Part Of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Speakers And Victims Reflect On The Theme “Rights, Access, Equity for All Victims”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, New York Attorney General Letitia James, and The Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims today hosted the 37th 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 “Rights, Access, Equity for All,” speakers included D.A. Bragg, retired NYPD Detective and domestic violence survivor Katrina Brownlee, and crime survivors expressing their shared mission to end violence and deliver justice for victims.
“I commend the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims for their tenacious advocacy on behalf of survivors and victims of crime,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “Today’s Candlelight Vigil is an important opportunity to focus on and uplift the voices of crime victims and survivors. The Witness Aid Services Unit of the Manhattan D.A.’s Office works every day to help crime victims heal and recover their sense of safety, and our entire office is dedicated to making our communities safer so that others are not victimized.”
“We must never forget those whose lives were taken by violence, and the people they left behind. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week honors the survivors and highlights the work that victims advocates do every single day to bring services, emotional support and compassion to those who have endured a horrific loss,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark. “I am proud to co-sponsor the NY Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil this Sunday with the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, the NYS Attorney General, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. It is always a moving ceremony that fills one with hope, due to the resilience of the survivors.”
“This National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we remember those who we’ve lost to violent crime, and reaffirm our commitment to supporting survivors and keeping our communities safe,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “As law enforcement officials, we have a much broader responsibility than to prevent crime — we must also ensure that survivors and crime victims always have the resources and support they need. I thank our partners in government and the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims for their collaboration and shared commitment on this initiative.”
As we are every year, the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims is thrilled and humbled to be able to co-host the annual Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil,” said the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims. “As a collective of survivors, survivor advocates, community based organizations, government agencies, and elected officials, the Downstate Coalition cherishes Vigil as it offers an opportunity to come together as a community, honor the lives of those who have been harmed by violence, celebrate the resilience of those who have endured harm, and strengthen our resolve to ceaselessly pursue pathways towards peace.
“Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest non-profit victim services organization, welcomes survivors and advocates to the 37th Annual Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil,” said Michael Polenberg, Safe Horizon. “Each year, this powerful event provides an opportunity for communities to come together and support one another in the aftermath of violence and abuse, and to send an unequivocal message that survivors are never alone. We thank the vigil committee and the event’s sponsors – including the Manhattan and Bronx District Attorneys, the New York State Attorney General and the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims – for creating this space for all New Yorkers to build resiliency, strength and community with one another.”
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. Their 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 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.