Advocate honored at crime victims’ rally

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 April 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Orleans County District Attorney Joe Cardone presents the Milford Phinney Victim Advocate Award to Margarita Aldaco during a crime victims’ vigil Thursday at the county courthouse.

ALBION – The recipient of the annual Milford Phinney Victim Advocate Award told crime victims they aren’t alone.

“You have a voice and a choice and a way out,” said Margarita Aldaco, the program advocate administrator for PathStone’s domestic violence services in Orleans County.

Aldaco received the Victim Advocate award during a crime victims’ vigil and rally at the Courthouse steps.

Aldaco has worked with local domestic violence victims for nine years. She sees about 25 to 30 victims and their families a year, assisting them in receiving counseling, transportation and other supportive services.

“You make a difference in their lives,” Aldaco said. “You see them make it on their own when they didn’t think they could do it.”

The award is named for Phinney, a former assistant district attorney. The annual vigil and rally included a testimonial from a victim of domestic violence, who said “help is out there” and urged other victims to leave their abusers.

“I’m back on my feet and I’m going strong again,” the domestic violence victim said.

Sister Delores O’Dowd shares a reflection from the Orleans County Courthouse steps during a crime victims’ vigil on Thursday.

The vigil was part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Sister Delores O’Dowd from Holy Family Parish in Albion shared a reflection during the rally.

“We realize that violence done to one of us effects all of us in one way or another – it steals part of our humanity,” she said in addressing a crowd of about 25 people.

She urged the group to work towards eliminating violence from the community.

“Let us embrace with healing kindness hose who are victims and call to a just accountability those who would make victims of others.”