Many crimes, whether they happened three months or three decades ago, have devastating, long-lasting impact - especially for those closest to the victims.
A Lancaster County-based support group is providing an outlet for those dealing with one of the most heinous crimes in society: homicide.
Family of homicide victims have been attending monthly meetings in Lancaster since last October, when the group was reconvened following a long hiatus.
Organized by the Victim Witness Services Program of the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office, the groups are facilitated by Deanna Weaver, victim advocate, and local therapist Patricia Beaumont.
The groups vary in size with each meeting, but they all involve healthy discussion of a crime’s impact and how to cope with such tragedy.
“Whether it happened last year or ten years ago, it’s a good resource,” Weaver said this week. “A lot of survivors find it is hard to reach out, but we don’t want anyone to go through this alone. It is such a help to be with other people who know this loss and the lifelong effects.”
The majority of those who attend live in Lancaster County or are affected by a homicide that happened in Lancaster County.
“Everyone else expects them to just get over it, but they are never going to get over it,” Weaver said of the survivors. In the group, “they are with people who understand that and can talk about it without judgment.”
Anyone interested in attending can contact Deanna Weaver at 299-8048.
NOTE: The location of the meetings is not being made public to protect the privacy of those attending.