Manitoba

Families of homicide victims take part in Winnipeg march

The families of homicide victims gathered at the Forks in Winnipeg for an annual march to the Manitoba Legislature.

Sunday's march organized by the Manitoba Organization for Victim Assistance (MOVA)

Marchers with Manitoba Organization for Victim Assistance (MOVA) released balloons with messages to lost loved ones as part of Sunday's march. (CBC)
The families of homicide victims gathered at the Forks in Winnipeg for an annual march to the Manitoba Legislature on Sunday.
Karen Wiebe is executive director for MOVA, the group that organized Sunday's march in Winnipeg. (CBC)

The demonstration was organized by the Manitoba Organization for Victim Assistance (MOVA) which supports families as they go through the criminal justice system following the murder of a loved one.

After Sunday's march, participants released blue balloons attached with personal messages to their lost loved ones.

"We are victims of homicide ourselves," said Karen Wiebe, executive director for MOVA.

Wiebe's son T.J. Wiebe was murdered in 2003 after becoming involved in Winnipeg's illegal drug trade. She and her late husband Floyd Wiebe became passionate activists for at-risk youth, among other causes, after losing their son.

"People who have had a homicide in their families go through a lifetime of grieving and a lifetime of sorrow," said Karen Wiebe on Sunday.

She said it's important to show how difficult it is to reckon with the death of a loved one if they are a homicide victim.

"Nobody is prepared for it, nobody expects a murder," she said.

A murder may be covered extensively by media, Wiebe said, but after the news coverage ends the families left behind are only beginning their journeys.

"It's not over when it's out of the papers," she said.

Dealing with the courts, parole system and other elements of the criminal justice system can be ongoing for years, she said.

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