Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month


Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (SHVAM) 

Inform, Influence, Impact Policy

Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (November 20-December 20) is a month-long effort to educate the public and policymakers about the impact of murder on families and communities and recognize the diverse contributions of the survivor’s movement.

Get Involved

  1. If you are hosting an event for Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month and would like it to be listed on our calendar, please email
  2. Attend one or more events taking place during SHVAM

    November 20
    Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month Opening Ceremony
    State House Grand Staircase
    24 Beacon Street, Boston


    November 20
    Remembrance Community Vigil

    New Bedford Opening Ceremony
    Magnet Playground, Cedar St, New Bedford


    November 27
    Survivors Peace Garden Lighting

    Russell St & Acushnet Ave, New Bedford


    November 28
    AJ Gomes Neighborhood Association Meeting

    AJ Gomes School, 286 S. Second St, New Bedford


    November 30
    Survivors of Homicide Victims Bereavement  Support Group

    10 Meadowbrook Road, Brockton
    Bill McCoy: 508.542.9530


    December 2
    Operation LIPSTICK & We are Better Together:
    The Warren Daniel Hairston Project 

    Join us as we ring in the holidays with love, harmony and hope.
    Grove Hall Public Library
    41 Geneva Ave, Dorchester


    December 2
    Bobby Mendes Peace Legacy presents 18th Annual Christmas with Bobby
    Kroc Center
    650 Dudley St, Boston, MA 02125
    Contact: Isaura Mendes 617.372.1588


    December 2
    Bursting the BC Bubble

    Boston College observes Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month
    Understanding Race, Gender and Violence Class
    Time & Location TBD


    December 5
    Christmas Tree Lighting

    Joseph P. Monte Playground, New Bedford


    December 5
    The Circle We Share Video Premiere

    Women Survivors of Homicide Movement
    Strand Theatre
    543 Columbia Rd, Boston, MA 02125


    December 6
    Holiday Wreath Making
    Partnership between Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery and Peace Institute
    15 Christopher St, Dorchester, MA 02122
    4:30pm-6:00pm & 6:30pm-8:00pm
    RSVP to


    December 7
    Gifts that Do Good Holiday Market

    spread good cheer and positive impact by getting involved in Impact Hub’s annual Gifts that Do Good Holiday Market! At this year’s cause-conscious gift giving affair, your business/organization can be a part of an event that features merchandise and services that are supporting sustainability, equity, empowerment, inclusion, or peace. We hope to feature twenty companies started by local entrepreneurs that sell giftable products or services which address important challenges and create positive social or environmental impact. Does this align with your business model? If so we'd love to have you participate as a vendor in the market to sell your gifts that do good! There is no fee to participate, however a small and completely refundable deposit is required.
    For more info contact Laura Pearson-Hahn

    December 11
    5:30pm: Family Vigil– in memory of Raymond P. Andrade, Albert “Rocky” Lopes, Omar Bey
    Corner of Acushnet Ave & Griffin Ct, New Bedford
    6:30pm: West End Neighborhood Association Meeting
    Temple Landing Community Room

    December 12
    In the Courtroom and Beyond: A Survivor and Advocate's Journey
    University of Massachusetts Police Department
    585 East Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002

    December 12
    CIRCLE UP: free film screening
    Lila Fredericks Pilot Middle School
    270 Columbia Road, Dorchester
    The documentary film CIRCLE UP will screen as part of Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (SHVAM). The film tells the story of a group of Boston mothers who seek true justice for their sons' murders – justice that involves not revenge and mass incarceration but forgiveness, accountability, and community peace. 


    December 13
    We Are Better Together Healing the Heart Series Closing Fundraiser

    New Academy Estates
    2908 Washington St, Roxbury, MA 02119
    Contact: Ruth Rollins 617.818.1477


    December 14
    Survivors of Homicide Victims Bereavement Support Group

    10 Meadowbrook Road, Brockton
    Contact: Bill McCoy 508.542.9530

    December 14
    Skate to Educate

    Briana J Bigby Scholarship Fund
    Chez Vous Roller Skating Rink
    11 Rhoades St Boston, MA 02124
    Children 18 and under are $15 each or 2 for $25. They should be paid for at the door
    Contact: Wanda Atkins 617-291-0863

    December 16
    3rd Annual Toy Drive In loving Memory of Rashad Barnes

    Mattapan Branch Library
    1350 Blue Hill Ave, Mattapan 02126


    December 18
    New Bedford “Remembrance” Closing Ceremony

    Brad Lourenco & All Families Community Vigil
    Corner of Delano & S. First Street


    Bridge 4 my Brothers- Men Grieve Too!
    Bi-monthly meeting support groups geared to supporting brothers while on their, individual and collective, journeys to heal
    Growing & Healing Group: 1st & 3rd Mondays 10:00am-12:00pm
    Working Group: 2nd & 4th Friday 5:30pm-8:00pm


    December 20
    Holiday Gala- The 17th Annual Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month Closing Ceremony

    An evening of food, dancing and celebration for the efforts of survivors and providers. Featuring a live performance from Zumix and music by DJ Junbug
    6 Billings St, Randolph
    RSVP required by Monday, December 4, 2017 to 617.825.1917


  3. Represent your city/town at the annual Opening Ceremony.  Service Providers are asked to bring materials for resource tables
  4. Promote SHVAM calendar of events to your networks and/or add to your newsletters, calendars or websites.
  5. Support the work of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.  Donate or volunteer.


Commonwealth of Massachusetts


His Excellency Governor Charlie Baker

WHEREAS, murder victims are loved and grieved by mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, partners, grandparents, aunts, uncles, extended family members, friends, neighbors, classmates and colleagues across the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, all families of murder victims deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion; and

WHEREAS, surviving family members need coordinated, compassionate, and consistent support and services in the immediate aftermath of a murder and ongoing opportunities for healing in the months and years afterward; and

WHEREAS, survivors of homicide victims experience overwhelming grief, isolation, and despair especially during the holiday season;

WHEREAS, survivors of homicide victims want to remember and honor their loved one’s lives regardless of the circumstances surrounding their death; and

WHEREAS, survivors of homicide victims are using their tragedies to inform, influence, and impact public policy so that all living children can grow up in a safe, peaceful community; and

WHEREAS, survivors and the providers who serve them use the 7 Principles of Peace (Love, Unity, Faith, Hope, Courage, Justice, and Forgiveness) as a foundation to guide them on their journey toward healing; and

WHEREAS, the leadership of survivors of homicide victims is essential to interrupting cycles of retaliatory violence and promoting peace in our state; and

WHEREAS Survivor-led initiatives across the Commonwealth are transforming the way society responds to homicide;

Now, Therefore, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim November 20th – December 20th, 2016, to be Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

                                                                                By His Excellency


History of SHVAM

On September 28, 2000, Argeo Paul Cellucci, then Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed into law "An Act Providing for the Annual Observance of  Survivors of Victims of Homicide Awareness, " making Massachusetts the first State in the country to set a side a time for survivors of homicide victims.

This act was introduced with House Bill 5093 by Massachusetts State Representative Marie St. Fleur (D-5th Suffolk District), and Massachusetts State Senator Cheryl Jacques (D-Needham). On behalf of Survivors of Homicide Organized for Change (SHOC) an ad hoc committee that is made up of a diverse group of organizations and individuals.