From Pittsburgh to Las Vegas: Unity in the Face of Violence




Center for Victims is the most comprehensive and inclusive provider of services, advocacy and education for all victims of crime in Allegheny County and in Pennsylvania. We understand that incidents of mass violence, such as the horrific attack in Las Vegas, can trigger trauma-related symptoms in individuals who have experienced violence in the past. Similarly, such incidents can erode one’s sense of safety. If you have been the victim of a crime, or if any incident of violence has triggered a trauma reaction, please know Center for Victims is here to help. We are available toll-free, 24 hours a day at 1-866-644-2882.


A Statement from Laurie MacDonald, President and CEO, Center for Victims:


All too often we are faced with a horrific display of pure evil. We bear witness to the unfathomable actions of someone among us, a fellow human.  We watch with astonishment and ask ourselves “Why?” Most often, there are no satisfactory answers. Very often, my colleagues and I at Center for Victims are asked “How do you do this work? It’s so sad. It has to be hard”. My standard response is ‘yes’: it is sad, and it is hard for the people who are frightened, who are lost and suffering. CV’s staff recognizes that when we are able to connect with crime victims and witnesses, it’s a good thing. We are here to help; to ease their pain and to support them in their efforts to deal with the effects of the horrific trauma they have experienced.

The horror of these unspeakable actions by our fellow human beings is impossible to comprehend. As the CEO of Center for Victims, my takeaway from the atrocious carnage delivered by one man in Las Vegas is this:  What an amazing display of kindness and compassion by first responders; acts of true selflessness and bravery by our fellow man. Complete strangers were pulling people off of sidewalks into their cars, trucks and homes–doing anything and everything they could to save lives, to ensure safety and to provide medical help in the midst of pure chaos and terror. This is us, our humanity in our darkest hour, reaching out to each other selflessly with no thought of race, religion, ethnicity, or nationality—just instinctively reaching out to help our fellow humans. This is what I see every day at Center for Victims in our amazing staff. This goodness is inside of all of us and every once in a while, we reach deep inside and let it shine. In Las Vegas, the sun shines most of the time but on Sunday, in the aftermath of the darkest actions of one person, the sunshine was epic and amazing.