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2015 Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (SHVAM)

Enacted in 2000, Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month (SHVAM) is an annual observance for survivor of homicide victims held November 20th – December 20th.

This yearly observance provides a platform where, as a nation, we can learn about and teach others how to better assist families who have lost loved  ones to homicide. 

During the awareness month, survivors across the state are provided with many opportunities to honor the memories of their loved ones, reflect on their journey as survivors of homicide victims, connect with other survivors and needed services, learn more about the Massachusetts Victim's Rights Movement and ways they can get involved, as well as support the efforts of survivors and inform the public about violence prevention, peacemaking, trauma, crisis response protocols and the restorative and social justice movement.

Massachusetts was the first state in the country to dedicate an entire month to survivors of homicide victims.  Each year, there are a number of events and activities that take place across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

If you have events that you would like to include please email  

Suggestions for Organizing SHVAM 2015 Events

1. Host an open house or holiday gathering at your local police station, DA's office, health facility, community center, program, etc.
2.  Encourage your place of worship to host a special healing service for survivors and incorporate one of the seven principles of peace: love, unity, faith, hope, courage, justice forgiveness.
3. Invite a survivor to speak at your meeting, program or event.
4. Send holiday cards to survivors.
5. Keep survivors informed on new programs, services, laws, initiatives, etc. In addition to updating them on any changes. 
6. Write a media statement to let community leaders, elected officials, survivors and the media know what you and/or program are doing to promote peace.
7. Recognize those who are making contributions on behalf of victims and survivors across the state.
8.  Submit a request for your city or town selectman or mayor to issue a proclamation for Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month
9. Adopt a school in your community and make it a Peace Zone school.
10. Re-connect with survivors (relatives, friends, colleagues, students, significant others, neighbors, etc) and attend an event with them.
11.  Host an event or activity for providers serving survivors of homicide victims!  Let’s not forget about those who are working every day to improve the lives of families impacted by murder, trauma, grief and pain.

If you are planning on hosting an event during awareness month, please email by November 17, 2015 to be included in the statewide calendar of events.

2015 Calendar of Events

Briana J. Bigby Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser    
What: From the age of 13, Briana had devoted her life to social services organizations. In 2013, she fell victim to violence in Boston, MA. In order to continue her legacy and honor her commitment to her community a scholarship fund has been established in her name to help the next generation of leaders pursue their educational dreams. 18+ event. Tickets available at Yawkey Boys & Girls Club of Roxbury. $20 in advance. $25 at the door.
When: December 23, 2015    7:00-11:00 PM    
Where: Chez Vous Roller Skating Rink, 11 Rhoades St, Dorchester, MA
Contact: Briana J Bigby Memorial Scholarship    Wanda Atkins    617-291-0863 

Survivors of Homicide Victims Worship and Prayer Service 
What: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church will host a Survivors of homicide victim awareness prayer and acknowledgement in our worship service Acknowledge hom survivors. Survivors will speak.
When: Sunday, December 27, 2015    11:00AM-1:00PM  
Where: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church 155 Humboldt Ave, Dorchester, MA 02121    
Contact: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church    Reverend Miniard Culpepper  (617) 427-0905