By: Stefany Olivas, Staff Reporter
Photo Courtesy Lori Calkin
Graduates Lori Calkin and Nick Christian said they founded Remembering Victims of Homicide in November of 2011, after Calkin’s fiancé, former student Andrae Davis, was killed by a stray bullet one evening.
Calkin said that she could find no local support groups for herself and her son, Casey, after losing Davis, so she and Christian created the facebook group to provide an outlet for the families and friends of victims.
“There aren’t very many resources here to help the families of homicide victims deal with their situations. It’s nice hearing other people’s stories because it takes the focus off your own grief,” said Calkin. Being aware that there are people out there who do care and may be going through the same thing has been an important part of healing, said Calkin. Encouraging others not to give up has helped her to do the same, she said.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk about it until they hear someone else’s story. There are people on there who haven’t lost someone and they are still there to listen,” said Calkin.
Christian, who is also a former Chronicle employee, said it is important to remember that homicide does not only affect one person, but the whole surrounding community.
Calkin and Christian encourage people to tell their story or listen to others. They want to build a community of people who can be there for and support one another, said Christian.
“That loss is going to be a tangible part of their lives for a very long time. It’s hard to get better, but it will get easier. We try and help make that transition,” said Christian.
The group has considered forming a face-to-face support group over the summer, but the main focus will continue to be the online network, said Christian.
“The drawback to face-to-face groups is that because the meeting times are set, they do not allow people to vent after a really bad day, which is a reason I think having a page like ours is special. You don’t have to find a babysitter so you can go to a group, you don’t have to get off work. All you have to do is log on at the end of the night,” said Christian.
Remembering Victims of Homicide will host an event at Tiguex Park on July 28 at 5:00 p.m. in order to raise awareness of safety in the community and to remember those who have been lost to violence, said Christian.
For more information visit facebook. com/rememberinghomicidevictims.