Homicide survivors gather for annual picnic - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Homicide survivors gather for annual picnic

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – More than 100 people gathered at Riverfront Park Saturday for an annual picnic of the homicide survivors group.

Organizers of the event say it's more than just a social event with food and music; it's a way to let families of homicides that they are not alone.

It's been almost a year since Monalisa Benjamin lost her only son. Last July, 27-year-old Deandre Benjamin was killed at gunpoint in downtown Charleston.

Benjamin says getting by each day without him is a struggle.

"Some days you feel like you can take on the world, and the next day you feel like I just don't want to be bothered," Benjamin said.

At Riverfront Park, dozens of families who lost a loved one to a violent crime gathered at the 14th annual homicide survivors' picnic. Food and conversation helped survivors like Benjamin.

"This has been really good for me to interact with other people who are going through the same thing that I am going through," she said.

After the picnic those who attended were offered other services to help them throughout the rest of the year.

"We also have free weekly support groups for folks that want to come together and meet other survivors and get support," said Alyssa Rheingold, a clinical psychologist at the Medical University.

Benjamin says counseling may not take away the pain, but it gives her strength to conquer each day.

"It really helps you through such a tragic journey because, I think, it's a pin that will never go away but it's a pain that will subside," Benjamin said.

The event was organized by MUSC and local law enforcement agencies.

  • Greg Woods

    Email: gwoods@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile

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