Honoring victims of violent crimes during crime victims' rights week

Posted at 7:55 PM, Apr 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-08 11:33:55-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Nashville community came together at the midtown police precinct for a special cause. Sunday kicks off National Crime Victims’ Rights week.

When a crime happens, it’s something that can happen in a matter of minutes but stays with you for the rest of your life. The community is sending victims a message, that they are not alone.

"A lot of times when violence happens people feel like they have been forgotten," said Valerie Craig, co-founder of Tennessee voices for victims. "They feel like the story happens and then every moves on to the next story the next day."

Sunday's ceremony is a way to honor and remember those who have been impacted by crime. It also lets the community know what resources are available to them. The theme for this year is "Honoring our past. Creating hope for the future."

Four survivors took the stage to tell their story. One of them was Mary Jones, a survivor of domestic violence. Although its been 10 years since Mary escaped her abuser, she can still remember the fear she felt the day she left. Her children were 9 and 14 years old at the time. Mary says its important to share her story so that others in a similar situation know there is help and there is hope.

"My children were very young and my husband was strangling me in front of them." said Mary Jones, "We ran away from him. My heart was in my throat, I was very afraid about leaving. Statistically that’s when a lot of victims end up getting killed."

Along with speeches, the ceremony had participants write on colorful strips of cloth and tie it on a banner. It’s a symbol of solidarity for those impacted by violent crimes.

If you need help, here are some direct services for victims of crime: