Angela Harris uses her voice as a mother and a survivor to help crime victims

Angela Harris uses her voice as a mother and a survivor to help crime victims
Angela Harris speaks in support of Aniah's law

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Angela Harris lost one of the loves of her life in 2019, when her 19-year-old daughter Aniah Blanchard was kidnapped and killed in Auburn.

The tragedy and heartbreak were something everyone could feel, it hurt. The loss will always hurt.

Community reacts to human remains found in Macon Co.; believed to be missing Aniah Blanchard
Community reacts to human remains found in Macon Co.; believed to be missing Aniah Blanchard (Source: WTVM)

But one of the things losing Aniah has done for Angela Harris is strengthen her resolve to help victims of crime and even help fight crime with her support of Aniah’s law.

Harris is working with Alabama lawmakers to pass Aniah’s law - the law would allow judges to deny bail to anyone arrested on violent Class A felonies. The state already denies bail in cases of capital murder.

Ibraheem Yazeed who is accused of kidnapping and killing Aniah was out on bond when she was killed.

Harris said Aniah's death pushes her to do all she can to protect others and victims.

Angela said she’s speaking regularly and she wants to speak not only for her daughter but also to help others.

Angela took part in the Walker County District Attorney’s virtual vigil Thursday night to honor National Victims’ Rights week.

She opened up about her own abuse and how surviving that helped her to want to help other crime victims - she said she was drawn to work at Children’s Hospital when she learned they had a place to help sexual assault victims.

Angela said she’s fighting for all victims of crimes and she’s ready to open about what happened to her and the abuse she endured. She was abused when she was 12 years old and said she felt the system kind of failed her. Angela said she was in a very protective and private family and the abuse didn’t really come out until she was 29.

Angela tried to prosecute but she says it it didn’t work in her favor for reasons that weren’t fair. She used surviving that abuse to help children at Children’s Hospital.

Aniah’s law passed the House earlier this year, and Angela said she cried when it passed unanimously. It now goes to the Senate.

Angela believes if Aniah’s law had been passed years ago, her daughter would still be here.

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