NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than 200 family members and friends of homicide victims gathered at North Charleston Riverfront Park to remember those lost to violence.
These homicide survivors came together for their 19th Annual Homicide Survivors Picnic.
"We're just a very close-knit family," Barbara Binion said. Binion is a victim's advocate for the Charleston County Sheriff's Department. "We meet the most wonderful people at the most horrible time in their life. It's a blessing and a privilege to be allowed to enter into their lives during that time."
One of the people that she has helped is Tyese "Sister" Miller.
"On April 2, 1998, I was a volunteer chaplain at the Al Cannon Detention Center. I was at the jail the night my son was murdered coming home from work," Miller said. "He was 19 years old at the time of his murder."
"Having community events to bring people together is a way to honor their loved one and to know that people in our community care," clinical psychiatrist Alyssa Rheingold said.
"It does give us hope. It gives us good thoughts about how we can help one another get through the grief," Miller said.
Binion said survivors become a family.
"We're a place where people know what it's like and they're there to support you," Binion said.
If you have experienced a tragedy and need someone to talk to, services are available.
"The National Crime Victims Center offers mental health counseling," Rheingold said. "We have a free support group that meets weekly. There are clinicians embedded in each law enforcement agency in our community."
The annual event is put on by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and MUSC National Crime Victim's Center. This year, the North Charleston Fire and Police Departments helped host.