Crime Victims Remembered

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With candles in hand and songs of praise, victims of violent crime were lifted up and remembered in a candlelight ceremony at Meridian's First Presbyterian Church on Sunday.

Sunday began the week long observance of National Crime Victims Rights Week. The Wesley House sponsored the prayer vigil for the occasion.

"We really sometimes fall short of serving our victims of crime," said
Ginger Grissom Stevens of The Wesley House.

Statistics show that three out of five girls are assaulted by the age of 18 and countless other people are victimized on a daily basis.

Speakers at the program included Virginia McCormick, whose husband took his own life, and Carolyn Clayton, who works with the attorney general's office as a victim's advocate.

Clayton knows the hurt of victims all too well. In 1981, right after her daughter graduated from high school and was to start college, she was kidnapped and murdered.

"I found that there was no law on the books defining victims rights, so I joined with a group to get some things passed," Clayton said.

She says while the pain of her daughter's death never leaves, the ability to talk about it is healing to both herself and others that have had to go through it.

"As time goes along, I realized I was not just crying for myself but for others," said Clayton.