Youth violence down statewide, but advocates say it's not enough - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Youth violence down statewide, but advocates say it's not enough

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

According to a new report from the N.C. Attorney General's office, violent crime involving teenagers has dropped sharply over the past five years.

But advocates in Charlotte like Judy Williams, founder of the local Mothers of Murdered Offspring, say it's not enough and more needs to be done.

"It was her death that got me off my sofa," recalled Williams who got involved after her goddaughter was murdered in 1993. "Once it knocked on my door, I'm going like, 'ok it's time to do something' and we've been on the battlefield ever since.

Williams has been on that battlefield for nearly 20 years. Dedicating her life to stopping the violence -- especially when young people are the victims.

According to the report, the number of teens under the age 16 charged with violent crimes has dropped 37 percent since 2007.

Encouraging, yes, but Williams worries it could lull some into complacency.

"Our stats have got to get to zero for Miss Judy to be satisfied," she said. "Let's not take this as 'oh yeah, now it's down we can sit back.' No we've got to stay vigilant as long as there's one life being lost."

That's why Williams told WBTV she sees every vigil, memorial service and balloon release as an opportunity.

"We might be able to save another one or two or three lives," she said. "Because of something someone has said, because somebody else is there, because the mother is there".

Williams won't stop, until the vigils she plans where mothers have to speak about their murdered children, stop.

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