Local News

Raleigh H.A.L.O.S. Prove that Angels are Among Us

Posted April 21, 1998

— A group called H.A.L.O.S., which stands for "Helping All Loved Ones Survive," is changing the way victims deal with pain.

Members meet to give each other support. The group is also behind a law which would require the courts to keep families informed about their cases.

For relatives of murder victims, everyday is difficult.

The parents of Detective Paul Hale, the Raleigh police officer gunned down in July of 1997, attend the group meetings as well. The group allows the members to share their pain with others who understand.

"It's comforting to know that others have gone through it and survived." Group Founder Janice Fletcher said. "That gives you the inspiration that you will survive as well."

For people like Linda Garner who are about to go through a trial, the support is even more important.

Garner lost her mother and great nephew in June of 1997 when police claim that three people set their Harnett County home on fire.

"It means that I don't have to hold everything in and cope by myself," Garner said.

District attorneys and victim advocates also come to meetings to teach and learn.

"We need to be objective about the handling of the case, but we also need to be sympathetic to the victims, and that's a delicate balance," said Colon Willoughby, the Wake county district attorney.

The group meets on the third Tuesday of every month at the Raleigh YWCA, for more information call 556-8080.

The legislature is expected to consider the victim's rights legislation during the short session next month.

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