Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month

Grand Staircase at the State House
Monday, November 21, 2011, 10:30am

State Representative Carlos Henriquez will host the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute at the State House on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 10:30am to honor survivors of homicide victims and providers serving families impacted by violence. The event will take in front of the Grand Staircase.  The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute will present this year’s Survivor of Homicide Victims Advocate of the Year Award to Governor Deval L. Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

Annual Observance

Enacted in 2000, Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (SHVAM) is an annual observance for survivor of homicide victims held November 20th – December 20th.  This yearly observance provides a platform where, as a nation, we can learn about and teach others how to better assist families who have lost loved ones to homicide.

During the Awareness Month, survivors across the state are provided with many opportunities to honor the memories of the loved ones, reflect on their journey as survivors of homicide victims, connect with other survivors and needed services, learn more about the Massachusetts Victim’s Rights Movement and ways they can get involved, as well as support the efforts of survivors and inform the public about violence prevention, peacemaking, trauma, crisis response protocols and the restorative and social justice movement.

Healing and Awareness

“This event is about healing and awareness. It is important that we come together not just in moments of pain but out of love.  We hope to raise awareness around increasing peace in ourselves, families and communities and show survivors that they are not alone” said Representative Henriquez, “I want people to realize that this is a statewide issue. I have spent the year working with Reps from New Bedford, Springfield, Lawrence, Brockton, Worcester and other towns where there is a shared sense of concern and commitment to reducing violence across the entire Commonwealth.”

Massachusetts is the first state in the country to dedicate an entire month to survivors of homicide victims. Each year, there are a number of events and activities for the entire family, as well as for professionals serving families.

Homicide Creates Community-Wide Impact

“Being at the State House for the kickoff of our annual observance is truly a historic moment for the survivors of homicide victims movement.  Survivors of Homicide Victim Awareness Month provides a platform that serves as a reminder to our legislators and our communities that as homicides are noted in high numbers every year in the United States, an even higher number of grieving family members, friends, siblings, neighbors are left behind.

With each homicide the survivor’s community across the commonwealth grows daily and so we must be intentional in our efforts to provider a coordinated response and services that will meet the diverse and complex needs of the surviving families”, said Dr. Clementina Chery.

More Information

Office of State Representative Carlos Henriquez
Danielson Tavares
Phone: (617) 722-2060
Email:  Danielson.Tavares@mahouse.gov
Fax:      (617) 722-2849
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
Marisa Luse
Phone: 617-825-1917
Email: marisa@ldbpeaceinstitute.org
Fax:      (617) 265-2278
Website: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitue.org/shvam.htm

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