Numerous residents of Dothan and the surrounding communities came together Sunday to remember loved ones lost to acts of violence. Victims of Crime and Leniency, or VOCAL put the program on to offer encouragement to victims' families and surviviors. Attorney General Troy King said, "we come here to remember those who have been victimized by crime. We gather to add our voices to theirs." Vocal was created by crime victims looking to change the judiciary system. Since its creation many laws have been passed allowing victims families to partipate in court proceedings and allowing them to fight to avenge their loved ones deaths. Something that does not replace the pain, but does allow families a healthy outlet to direct their pain toward. President of the south East Alabama VOCAL Patricia Jones said, "If you lost a loved one there's a pain never goes aways, this is a time they can come together." Sunday's gathering allowed families to light candles in remembrance of loved ones who were lost to violence. By keeping their stories alive, families say they are helping make the court system easier for victims families in the future. State executive director of VOCAL Miriam Shehane said, "victims of crime don't want the public to forget their victimization. They live with it everyday." Sunday no crime victim at the vigil was alone, each person was surrounded by others who shared his or her pain and passion about a dear one lost tragically to violence National crime victim's week is observed throughout the state in many ways. The week will come to a close with a candlelight vigil held in Montgomery across from the state capitol Friday at 7 o'clock.
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