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Crime survivors, victims' families hold vigil to advocate for change

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Posted at 6:33 AM, May 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-01 09:57:02-04

CHULA VISTA (KGTV) — Crime survivors and the families of victims are advocating for change.

Saturday, a group held a vigil at Bayside Park in Chula Vista to mourn loved ones lost to violent crimes and call for solutions that break cycles of crime and help victims heal.

"It's really important for us to heal through action, and that's why we have our vigil today," Elizabeth Munoz said.

During the vigil, people shared their stories of grief and heartache.

One by one, they placed candles on a table near a photo of their loved one.

The annual event is one of several being held across the country this weekend by the national organization Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.

Munoz is the coordinator for the San Diego chapter.

"My husband and I lost our only child in 2015. He was murdered," she said.

Over the years, violent crimes in San Diego County have only increased.

A SANDAG report released earlier this month found that homicides rose by 3%, rape by 11%, and aggravated assault by 13% in 2021.

In March, San Diego City leaders said police have responded to 10 homicides since the start of this year, an 80% increase compared to the same time period last year.

Along with sharing their stories, Munoz said the vigil serves as a call to action for policies that prevent crime and better support survivors and victims' families.

She said she wished there were better resources while dealing with the loss of her son.

"It's very difficult to find resources, community... to find the support that we needed," Munoz said.