Lawyers for victims of violent crime hold a rally on Parliament Hill


OTTAWA – September 25th is the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.

For Rodney Stafford, it’s a day of action to advocate tougher sentences for criminals and better service and support for victims of violent crime.

Stafford took his concerns to Parliament Hill on Saturday and organized a protest and rally to shed light on the shortcomings of Canada’s judicial system.

“Our goal is to go out and make people understand that this is happening way too often,” said Stafford. “I want to push the government forward; we need changes, we need judicial reform and reform of the corrections that work.”

In 2009, Stafford’s eight-year-old daughter Tori was kidnapped, raped and murdered in Woodstock, Ontario. Michael Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic were sentenced to Tori’s death.

Since then, it has been Stafford’s mission to fight for the victims and their families.

Torie Daniels’ aunt, a victim of domestic violence, was murdered and her body was found frozen in the trunk of a car. She was in Ottawa on Saturday to give voice to the voiceless and let people know that the harm that violent crimes can do can affect families across generations.

“For anyone with a heart, whether you are directly affected or not, it affects everyone,” Daniels said. “I’m not just there for my aunt, who was murdered for domestic violence, but for all the others who have been lost.”

Those who have gathered to demand the criminal justice system must at least offer their loved ones the same services and support that are offered to criminals.

“I’m just trying to protect the victim’s rights, I don’t want to say about the criminal, but a little more has to be invested in those affected by the crime,” said Daniels.

For Stafford, he will be back until politicians and the public realize that the victims of violent crime are not only those who lose their lives, but the families and friends who are left behind.

“Together we can change that.”

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