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Families of crime victims joined local law enforcement and victim advocates at Phelps Grove Park in Springfield yesterday to honor those affected by violent crime. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe has this recap.
The event was held in conjunction with the Missouri Crime Victims’ Rights Week, held each year to promote victims’ rights and honor those affected by violence and the ones who advocate on their behalf.
In the 22 years since the event began, violent crimes in the area have only become more frequent, says Janis McCall, executive director of One Missing Link. That’s a Springfield based organization that assists families in finding missing persons reported to the police.
But she says more and more people come to the Victims’ Memorial Garden each year to talk about their situations and help each other cope with their struggles.
“The people respond and come to this event because I think they feel like a family. They have a way to communicate with other people that have gone through the same thing. For instance, if they have a child that’s missing or murdered, they have someone that maybe they can talk to that maybe their child was missing or murdered. Or someone that’s killed by a drunk driver, there may be two or three,” McCall said.
McCall says many individuals presented bricks in honor of certain victims, and others spoke in front of the crowd to talk about their loved ones.
For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.