Remembering victims of violence during the holidays
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
More than 80 names of violent crime victims now hang from a tree in the Hamilton County Courthouse, the same place where the suspects in those cases must answer to charges.
The police chief, city and county mayors, district attorney, and others whose job it is to help victims, all hope to find a way to lower the number of victims in the community.
"This is a really good way to let them know that their loved one isn't forgotten this season, or any season for that matter," said Bergen Baucom Aldahir, with the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults.
The "Season of Remembrance" ceremony is to remember the victims of violent crime and to celebrate the lives of survivors.
Victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and murder were all recognized. For surviving victims and the families of those who didn't survive, the holidays aren't easy.
"Many of us during these times have large family gatherings, we have functions where we kind of have to pretend like everything is normal and it's hard when you're going through domestic violence," said Constance
Constance Dawes-Shazier is honoring her aunt, who she calls a domestic violence survivor. But not everyone is so lucky to survive.
Employees at the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults believe the only way to save future victims is to be aware, and urge them to get help.
"Be patient with them, let them know that you love them, that you care about them, that they deserve safety, that they are worthy of safety," Aldahir said, "Because this person has just berated their self image and their self-worth."
The "Season of Remembrance" Christmas tree will stay at the courthouse throughout the holidays, after that the ornaments will be showcased at the Partnership's Crisis Resource Center.
The Partnership has a 24/7 hotline for anyone who needs it, call 423.755.2700.