New York, NY - April 7, 2014 - The Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr today hosted the 29th 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 “Honoring Victims, Fulfilling the Promise,” speakers included D.A. Vance, Susan Herman, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Collaborative Policing, and crime survivors expressing their shared mission to end violence and deliver justice for victims.
“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.”
“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.”
“The stories shared at this vigil by crime victims and their families are not only reminders of the far-reaching effects of violence, but a call to action,” said District Attorney Vance. “Today, we renew our ongoing commitment to making our streets – and homes – safer for all New Yorkers. We look forward to continuing to work with advocates, service providers, and our partners in law enforcement to strengthen our support network for victims and their loved ones.”
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. This year’s theme, “Honoring Victims, Fulfilling the Promise,” inspires us to reflect on the memory of those lost to violence and pay tribute to those who have triumphed over trauma and pain, while renewing our commitment to preventing crime and empowering survivors and their families.
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 services and trauma treatment modalities and resources that impact on services and justice for victims and the crime victim movement on the local, state and national level.
With 97 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.