NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – From homicides to sexual assaults, victims of crime and their families gathered at Centennial Park Sunday afternoon to mark the beginning of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
The event gave those who are victims a platform to unite and empower one another.
The theme of this year’s observance is Serving Victims, Building Trust, Restoring Hope.
Loved ones, strangers and city officials packed the pavilion for support.
“Every violent act, every story is the ending of life as it was and the beginning of a journey that no one wanted to take,” stated Melissa McDonald, the moderator for the event.
Callie Benjamin was among those who spoke to the crowd.
She witnessed the Boston marathon bombings and wanted to let others know there is hope.
“I don’t have to be a victim, I don’t have to harbor anger, I don’t have to harbor sorrow, and there’s nothing that’s expected of me. And ultimately and forever, more I am a survivor,” she told News 2.
The ceremony closed with a balloon release.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week runs through Saturday.