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COMMUNITY VOICES: Forgotten victims of crime

As one who has been a victim rights advocate, I meet families who feel a murdered family member has been forgotten. Many cases are investigated and the process can be lengthy. An investigator has limited information. In many of these cases, investigators need witnesses to step forward, but no one wants to talk.

It’s not fair for families to live without justice for their loved ones. They suffer grief, being forced to live with the absence of a family member. The pain of knowing how their family member was murdered is a nightmare. Even more so, it hurts when it appears as if their family, friends and community have forgotten their loved one.

I am coordinating a Community Vigil for these victims. They need justice, and as a community of compassionate people, we need to let family members of victims know their loved one is not forgotten. We will be speaking out asking help from the public who may know something about any of these crimes.

If you are family to one of these victims, bring a large picture of the victim or wear a T-shirt bearing their image. You may also bring signs asking for justice (or wording of your choice in support of this effort). Be sure to share this information with a family you know who has suffered the loss of a loved one to murder.

The Community Vigil for these victims will be Saturday, March 13, at 11 a.m. We’ll meet in front of the Delano Police Department, located at 2230 High St. We’ll have speakers including Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and local officials.

Be sure to wear your face mask. Social distancing guidelines will be followed. For questions about this event not covered in this article, contact me at 661-721-0111. I invite you to follow my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pastordavid.vivas.

David Vivas Jr. is the pastor at World Harvest International Church in Delano.