Candlelight Vigil themed “Survivor Voices: Elevate, Engage, Effect Change” is Part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, New York Attorney General Letitia James, and the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims today hosted the 38th Annual Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil. The Vigil brings together law enforcement officials, victim advocates, community leaders and community members to commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Reflecting on the theme “Survivor Voices: Elevate, Engage, Effect Change,” speakers included District Attorneys Bragg, Gonzalez and Clark, survivors of crime, the families of gun violence victims, and advocates.
“I applaud the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims for continuing to uplift and support survivors and victims of crime through its advocacy,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “As Manhattan District Attorney, it is my profound obligation to help victims and survivors heal and recover their sense of safety, and to make our community safer so that others don’t suffer the same trauma. The stories we heard from the brave survivors today serve as a painful reminder that there are far too many who have had their lives forever changed by violent crime. My office will continue to expand and enhance the services and resources available to victims and their families so they can rebuild their lives.”
“I am proud to co-sponsor the New York Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil this Sunday, the start of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, with the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, the NYS Attorney General, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark. “This poignant ceremony honors the resilience and strength of crime victims and their loved ones, and celebrates the lives taken by violence. It also spotlights the advocates and therapists who champion victims and bring services, emotional support and compassion to them.”
“National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is an important reminder of what we do every day in Brooklyn: Advocate for the rights of victims, support and help them with empathy and compassion, and seek justice for victims and their families,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “With today’s candlelight vigil we join with our law enforcement partners to lift up the voices of all crime victims and I thank the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims for doing this essential work every day.”
“As we recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we honor the lives of those lost to violence and renew our commitment to supporting survivors and keeping our communities safe,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “As law enforcement officials, our responsibility to New Yorkers goes beyond addressing crime, we must also provide our survivors and crime victims the support and resources they need. My office will continue to do everything in our power to keep New Yorkers safe, and I thank our partners in government and the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims for their collaboration and commitment to this cause.”
“The Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims is once again proud 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 the 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 38th Annual Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil,” said Michael Polenberg, Safe Horizon. “We are grateful for the opportunity to come together as a community to support one another in the aftermath of violence and abuse, and to remember those who we lost even as we remind each other that we are not alone in this journey. We thank the hard-working vigil committee for putting this event together with such care, and are especially grateful to the event’s sponsors – including the New York State Attorney General’s office, the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Bronx District Attorneys, and the Downstate Coalition for Crime 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. Its 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.