Supporting survivors, remembering victims of crime

By Jillian Marshall

April 24, 2013 Updated Apr 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Samantha Wackford says she'll never let the acid attack that scarred her for life also turn her into a victim.

Her story is one of many shared Tuesday during a ceremony to honor crime victims, survivors and their families.

April 21-27 is National Crime Victims Rights week.

Wackford, of Norwich, had acid thrown in her face 11 years ago. But the crime did not leave her devastated. Instead, Wackford moved to the United States and is currently happily married and getting her masters degree at Binghamton University.

Executive Director of the Crime Victims Assistance Center Tuesday's Crime Victims Tribute because she is a survivor.

"I am proud I have survived and that I could come out here to be a voice to represent all of those who have passed on and all of those who have survived acts of violence," Wackford said.

The tribute was held at Otsiningo Park in the town of Dickinson.

The ceremony opened with bag pipes and included speakers and singers to add meaning to an emotional gathering.

People wrote victim's names and messages on balloons that were then released at the end of the ceremony, while others made shirts in memory of their loved ones.

Baudendistel says she wanted to show just how many crime violence survivors there are in the Southern Tier.

"Crime affects so many of us in so many different ways, from neighbors to family and friends," Baudendistel said.

For help, call the CVAC Crisis Line at (607) 722 4256.

For more information on the events going on during National Crime Victims Rights week, or to find out how you can be an advocate for survivors, click here.