Victims to be honored at candlelight vigil

April 23, 2001

Victims to be honored at candlelight vigil

By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

People whose lives have been touched by violence will gather for a candlelight vigil tonight as part of a weeklong tribute to crime victims.

Women In Need Victim Services is sponsoring the 10th annual vigil as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

The candlelight vigil will be in the Fellowship Hall of the First United Methodist Church, 225 S. Second St., from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

"The vigil is our one big event for the week," said Stacy McCole, WIN education coordinator. The agency uses the vigil to focus attention on the needs of victims of all crimes.

McCole said the vigil regularly draws about 100 people, and she hopes to see even more this year.

"We get people who have been victimized by crime, or friends, relatives and supporters of crime victims," she said. "People come out to show they want to be there emotionally to support victims of violence, even if they don't know anyone in the crowd."


McCole said the agency has asked some people to come forward tonight and share their stories.

The ceremony will also feature keynote speaker Barb Nissley from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

A moment of silence in recognition of those whose lives have been destroyed by violence will follow. The evening will end with the lighting of the candles.

This year is the 21st anniversary of National Crime Victims' Rights week. The theme, "Victims' Rights: Reach for the Stars," emphasizes the continued effort to treat crime victims with dignity and compassion, said Barbara Channing, executive director of WIN.

WIN Victim Services has been aiding victims of violent crime in Franklin and Fulton counties since 1976. The agency has helped thousands of victims of physical and sexual violence and other violent crimes.

The nonprofit agency's services are free and confidential and are available to men, women and children.

It offers a 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention and support for victims and 30-day emergency shelter for women and their children who seek safety from violence in the home.

In fiscal 1999-2000, WIN Victim Services helped 1,225 adult victims and 227 children. That included 66 women and 75 children who used the shelter for an average stay of 22 to 30 days.

In the same period, staff and volunteers answered 2,000 hotline calls related to domestic violence and 910 calls about crimes of sexual violence.

For more information on programs offered by WIN Victim Services or to volunteer, call 1-717-264-3056.

The Herald-Mail Articles