Vigil planned for teen victim of domestic violence killed in Harlem


The family of a 16-year-old girl stabbed to death this weekend will join Harlem residents and advocates against domestic violence for a vigil Wednesday evening.

They plan to gather on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard at 5:30 p.m. outside the building where Saniyah Lawrence was killed Sunday allegedly by her boyfriend 18-year-old Zyaire Crumbley.

Crumbley voluntarily surrendered to police at Harlem’s 32nd Precinct Monday just after 9 p.m., police officials said. He was charged with murder and was awaiting arraignment Tuesday morning, officials at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office confirmed. Information about his attorney wasn’t immediately available.

“This was a baby and she lost her life to domestic violence and when one of us hurt we all hurt. We are all mothers,” said Stephanie McGraw, founder of We All Really Matter, a nonprofit based in Harlem dedicated to supporting survivors of domestic violence.

Lawrence was in the 11th grade at Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem. She loved the color purple, and “had a zest for life,” McGraw said.

The girl’s grandmother told The New York Times that Lawrence was a young entrepreneur, who regularly mixed batches of “slime,” a homemade silly putty, to sell to other kids at her school.

McGraw urged others to speak out if they fear a friend or relative is in an abusive relationship.

“Silence hides violence. Someone could have saved her life,” she said. “A lot of these young girls dont know they’re in a domestic violence situation.”

McGraw has been in contact with Lawrence’s family, and said they were troubled by the relationship, but their efforts to intervene were unsuccessful. Her family couldn’t be reached for further comment right away.

Last year, 24 people were killed in instances of intimate partner violence in New York City, according to data from New York City’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-based Violence. Another 38 people were killed in family homicides.


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