Victims of violence share their stories

Free forum takes place at University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford on Friday, April 27.

They are names that make headlines for a short while. Then they recede, perhaps to only appear again for a 30-second sound bite if an arrest or subsequent trial ever takes place.

They are the victims of violent crime. Often, they are the parents, siblings, or best friends of a murder victim, or of somebody who was killed in a tragic but preventable incident.

After the headlines they are left alone in their grief; expected to heal, forgive, and repair broken hearts. And this is where community agencies and volunteers that address the impacts of crime come in.

On Friday the University of the Fraser Valley and the John Howard Society of the Fraser Valley are hosting a forum where family members of two murdered women will speak about their lives before and after the tragedies that forever changed them.

“How do we heal from a traumatic event? What could be more traumatic than the murder of a loved one?” queries Maggie Aronoff, executive director of the John Howard Society. “On this night, our community will have the opportunity to hear two stories of healing. One family lost their daughter. Another lost his mom.”

Heather and Dan Basham will share the story of their daughter’s murder in May 2001. It was a double tragedy for the couple, because Tracy was murdered by her brother.

The second speaker will be Christopher Ducharme, who will tell the story of his mother’s homicide.

The forum is a free event and will be held on the Abbotsford campus in the lecture theatre, room B101. It begins at 6 p.m.  For more details about the forum, contact the John Howard Society of the Fraser Valley at 604-852-1226.