Breaking Bread and Making Peace [SLIDE SHOW]

By: Lanetra Bennett
April 22, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Victims of violent and deadly crimes in the Big Bend spoke out today and honored those who help ease the pain.

Survivors say they are finding hope through National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

Last summer, a woman took the witness stand to describe being raped at knife-point inside of her Tallahassee home.

Monday, Alexandra boldly walked before a crowd of supporters - willingly sharing her story and identity - to be honored for her bravery.

Alexandra said at the podium, "I'm here because I was a victim, but circumstance has made me stronger. In an unexpected way it has brought new meaning and purpose to my life."

Alexandra's testimony, composite sketch and DNA from her sexual assault exam helped convict Jake Butler last July for her attack.

During a National Victims' Rights Week luncheon Monday, she said her experience motivated her to make comfort bags for future rape victims.

The bags include a blanket, journal and pen, fuzzy socks, eye mask, scented soap pedals, lotion, Kleenex, lip balm, and a book, titled, "Undying Will." A personal message from Alexandra are also included in the bag.

The comfort bags will be given to sexual assault victims at the hospital as they wait for their exam.

"Law enforcement, the state attorney's office, and my victim advocate, it's because of you that I have the strength the carry on and give back." Says, Alexandra.

Helen Gainous was the speaker at the luncheon. She talked about grieving her son's unsolved murder. Sylvester Davis was found dead in his home in 2005.

Gainous says, "For them to have this type of program, it just helps the families get through day by day. It's a program that needs to keep going on to let people know that they're not alone."

Candles were lit to honor murder victims as their names were displayed.

Memorial Boards of the victims that were on display at the State Capitol until Thursday. They will be among memorial boards of victims from throughout Florida.

By: Lanetra Bennett
April 22, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Big Bend Victim's Assistance is holding a luncheon to recognize National Victims' Rights Week.

Ten families of homicide victims all gathered together to share a meal today. The rape victim who helped convict the "Killearn Rapist" is being honored for helping other rape victims.

The speaker, Helen Gainous, is the mother of Sylvester Davis who was shot and killed in 2005 in Tallahassee.

WCTV will bring you more on the luncheon tonight on Eyewitness News.

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