Crime victims and survivors rally for a purpose

By Mike McDaniel - email
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Glenda Harden of Jackson still remembers that day back in March of 2007. It was the day her youngest daughter, Angela Harden, 22, was shot and killed in Capitol City.

"She always had a smile on her face," said Harden.

To keep that smile bright, Thursday morning, Harden joined others who, just like her are still coping with a loss.

"It gives us a voice for our loved ones that had been taken away from us violently, senselessly," said Harden.

To recognize National Crime Victims' Rights Week, folks from across Mississippi took the steps of the State Capitol, many clutching the memory of a life taken away, like that of Amanda Subs, 20, who was killed as a result of domestic violence.

"It's been hard, it's been very hard," said her mother Debra Taylor of amory. Taylor says sharing stories and coming together help.  

Although the pain will never go away, Harden says the process is a little easier.

"It lets you know that you're not the only one in this circumstance," said Harden.

"It's devastating and it never stops," said Attorney General Jim Hood who knows the importance of advocacy groups and their services personally, after one of his family members was murdered back in 1976.

"We want victims to know that people care about them. There are agencies and non-profit organizations all over the state that can help them."

Awareness and advocating are just one side of the coin, the other is a push for better laws. While the state has made strides, advocates say there's still a long way to go.

"We need to make sure that every victim is notified every time there's a change in status of the offender. We need to have some changes in law so that we don't have a revolving door," said Doris Weaver with the Gulf Coast Women's Center for Non-Violence.

Hood says victim advocates and assistants are a much needed and under valued resource in the state and considering the state's finances, many positions could be in jeopardy.

"In the economic time we're probably going to loose some," said Hood.

In the meantime, folks like Glenda Harden will keeping holding on.