Memorial Wall

Click on photos to read the stories, or select a page below.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
~George Santayana

October 2nd:
Rokstan M
died on October 2nd, 2015

20yo Rokstan from Syria was gang raped. She said, "I was taken by three men. Ever since that time my family have regarded me as unclean. My mother and my brothers mistreat me. They say that I deserve to die." Rokstan fled to Germany because she feared for her life. She lived in a house for single women and worked as a translator for immigrants seeking asylum. She was murdered and buried in a shallow grave a few days after she returned to her family. Rokstan's social media profile said "I am awaiting death. But I am too young to die."


Posted by Manya on October 2nd, 2016

October 3rd:
Danny Chen
died on October 3rd, 2011

19yo Danny from Chinaton, NYC, was a US soldier bullied to death by his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. He was the youngest, it was his first deployment, and he was the only Asian-American in his platoon. "People here are leaving left and right now, everyone is getting stress fractures and broken legs," he wrote. "All of the weaker people have either left or gone home for 30 days to heal. Now I'm the weakest one left." They called him "gook," "chink," "dragon lady." They forced him to do sprints while carrying a sandbag. They ordered him to crawl along gravel-covered ground while they flung rocks at him. And one day, when his unit was assembling a tent, he was forced to wear a green hard-hat and shout out instructions to his fellow soldiers in Chinese. After he was thrown rocks at, another soldier asked Danny if he was OK. Danny replied, "No sweat," and then shot himself.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016

October 7th:
mellisa hooper
died on October 7th, 2008

she was a very good friend she lost her life because of her husband didnt want her to live and be happy she was abused all her life except noty from the man she was dating she was going to be a nurse she was a cna and loving she helps a whole lot and a very good friend that i miss very much and think of every day she is missed a whole lot by everyone


Posted by angie on June 12th, 2009

October 8th:
Birthday of Chevy Chase
born on October 8th, 1943

Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase. American comedian,actor,writer. Born into a prominent Manhattan family Chase would later claim he suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of his mother and stepfather. He speaks of how his mother Cathalene,a concert pianist who suffered herself from depression and panic attacks,would wake him up in the middle of the night to slap him "..continually and hard,across the face" He would go onto to say "I lived in fear all the time...deathly fear..I don't remember what it was for or what I had done" Chevy's half brother John said "My mother ,at her worst,was like an unleased animal.It was at her hands,in her feral states,that Chevy suffered the darkest of his secret torments". Despite the fact both of his abusers are dead Chase still can't forgive them. He says "..I always turn to it in my mind...and I'll never forgive them....you would think a grown man could shake it off..to say "I forgive you"....I don't forgive them."


Posted by eagle22 on October 9th, 2015

October 9th:
Birthday of John Cantwell
born on October 9th, 1956

Major General John Cantwell AO DSC. Retired senior Australian army officer. Cantwell was a high ranking officer with an army career spanning 40 years. In his autobiography "Exit wounds" he has written about having to hide the symptoms of PTSD for 20 years of his career. He also suffered from survivors guilt at avoiding a car bomb that killed others. He is a nationally recognised advocate for better mental health care for Australian veterans and is Patron/Ambassador of several organisations promoting veterans' mental health.


Posted by eagle22 on October 7th, 2015

October 10th:
World Mental Health Day
October 10th, 1992

Established by World Federation of Mental Health, and supported by the United Nations, this is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.

- More than 450 million across the globe suffer from mental illnesses.
- In the United States, people with severe mental illness die 25 years earlier than the general population on average.
- In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide.
- In the UK, 70% of people affected by mental illness experience discrimination, and discrimination is believed to be worse in developing countries.


Posted by Manya on October 10th, 2014

October 11th:
Kelsey Smith-Briggs
died on October 11th, 2005

Kelsey was a 2yo girl from Oklahoma whose parents were divorced, and each accused the other of abusing Kelsey. The first report was filed in January, and she was moved by CPS four times in six months, from one side of the family to the other, till the judge said it's unknown who's abusing her and moved her back to her mom's home. The case was monitored by CPS, yet during this year Kelsey had a broken collarbone, two broken legs, damage to her pancreas, multiple bruises and marks, and she was hurt in a car accident and sexually abused. On October 11th Kelsey was in the care of her mom's boyfriend, and died of blunt force trauma to her abdomen.


Posted by Manya on February 14th, 2016

October 12th:
Fred McClure
died on October 12th, 2010

59yo Mr McClure from Pennsylvania, USA, worked as a maintenance supervisor and had four children and five grandchildren. He was killed by his girlfriend who shot him 8 times and told the police she mistook him for an intruder. It was daylight, neighbors saw them coming home together a few hours earlier, and some of the shots were fired while she was standing over him as he was laying on the floor. The woman was convicted of murder and sentenced to life.


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016

Ryan Poston
died on October 12th, 2012

29yo Ryan was a young lawyer from Ohio, USA, who dated a Psychology student. He wanted to end the relationship and asked his dad for advice, saying "I don't know what to do to get her to leave." "I told him to make sure that he was kind to [her] and to be honest with her about what was going on," Ryan's dad said. "I told him to be direct, but to be kind." Ryan was killed the next night. The girlfriend claimed self-defense and battered wife syndrome, but the judge and the jury didn't buy it; she shot him six times in the face, laughed about it, and expressed no remorse. Her cellmate said she used the battered wife syndrome defense because she said she was too intelligent to plead insanity.


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016

Amanda Todd
died on October 12th, 2012

Amanda was a 15yo girl from British Columbia (Canada) who committed suicide because she was bullied. When she was 12, a stranger online (33yo man was later arrested in Netherlands) started asking her to bare her breasts on webcam. She resisted for a year, and then did it. He then threatened to send the pic to her school friends unless she gives him a webcam "show". When she just turned 13, police told her the pic was circulating internet. For the next two years Amanda was bullied both online and in school, the family moved to a new home, Amanda changed two schools, but the story followed her. She started drinking and cutting, attempted suicide twice, was hospitalized and received counseling - but that made the bullying worse, now kids called her "psycho". On October 12th, Amanda attempted suicide for the third time, and died.

A month before her death, Amanda posted a video on Youtube titled My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm; she wrote "I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I'm not doing this for attention. I'm doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I'd rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don't hate, although im sure I'll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I'm still here aren't I ?"


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

October 13th:
Sean McIlmail
died on October 13th, 2013

Sean was a 26yo man from Pennsylvania, USA, who was abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager. He kept it secret and escaped into drugs, until more victims started to come forward but the police couldn't press charges because statutes of limitations have ran out. Sean came forward and reported his story to protect children (particularly his nephews) from being abused by the same priest that abused Sean. He was clean and sober for 6 month (the lawyer wouldn't take the case otherwise), and was preparing to testify, but days before that he died of heroin overdose. "The drug piece is unbelievably common," says David Clohessy, national director of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests). "The indirect disclosures are surprisingly common. The law enforcement involvement is painfully rare."

"I'm not mad at [the priest who raped Sean], because I think he’s sick,” said Sean's mother. "I'm angry at the church for letting him serve so long and covering it up." She also said of the Pope Francis' upcoming visit, "He's coming to Philadelphia, which is so bad with priest abuse. He's seeing the poor, the immigrants, the prisoners, all of which wasn't the church's fault. But it is the church's fault that we have this segment of the population that's drug-addicted and has all these mental health problems."


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016

October 18th:
Janiya Thomas
died on October 18th, 2015

Janiya was an 11yo girl from Florida, who nobody noticed was missing. 16 months after she was seen last, CPS came to investigate the 12th child abuse allegation against her mom, Keishanna Thomas, and one of the children said they haven't seen Janiya in a long time and thought she was dead. Police was alerted on October 16th, and two days later, seeing news reports in the media about the missing child, Janiya's great aunt remembered that last year Keishanna asked to store food in their freezer. The great aunt broke the lock on the freezer, and found the girl's body in it. Autopsy showed that Janiya was starved, beaten, and drowned. "I still see the color that she was in the freezer, the color and the size. I can't get that picture out of my head," the great aunt said.

Janiya's family held a funeral service at a local church. The preacher told those gathered, "Oh you thought you was coming here and I was going to talk about Keishanna. No, I love Keishanna. I'm going to pray for her. I'm going to pray for this family. I'm going to be here for this family. This is what this community is all about." "We don't need no gossip," he added. "We don't need to know why or how." A poem was read in honor of Janiya during the service:

If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane.
I would walk right up to Heaven and bring you back again.
No farewell words were spoken, No time to say goodbye.
You were gone before I knew it, and only God knows why.


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

October 19th:
Legal definition of rape changed
October 19th, 2011

This is the date the crime of rape was redefined in the USA to include male victims and victims of non-vaginal rape. Since 1929, in the Summary Reporting System (SRS), forcible rape has been defined as "the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will," (UCR Handbook, 2004, p. 19). The 2011 fall meeting of FBI CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) APB (Advisory Policy Board) changed this definition, and, beginning with the 2013 data collection, the SRS definition for the violent crime of forcible rape was modified to: "Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." Prior to this change, oral and anal rapes weren't counted as rapes but as assaults, misconduct, etc, which meant shorter sentences for offenders and skewed statistics.


Posted by Manya on July 8th, 2016

John Ruffolo
died on October 19th, 2003

36yo Mr Ruffolo from Canada worked at a home for residents with developmental disabilities, coached hockey, and worked as a lifeguard. He was having an affair with a coworker, was planning a divorce, and his wife didn't want to split their rental properties. She gave him some sleeping meds, then injected him with a lethal dose of heroin (to make it look like he was a drug addict), and got a friend to help her dump his body in a remote area. They had a 4yo daughter.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

October 25th:
Gabrielle Stanley
died on October 25th, 2015

28yo Gabrielle from UK had a boyfriend whom she kept trying to leave but kept coming back to. On October 25th she tried to leave him again, and he stabbed her to death and hanged himself. Gabrielle's story was included in the BBC2 Documentary "Love You To Death" that features interviews with friends and relatives of 86 UK women killed by their romantic partners in 2013


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016

October 26th:
Poppie van der Merwe
died on October 26th, 2016

Poppie was a 3 year old, innocent girl, murdered at the hands of a monster. Her case is one of many, proving that not enough is done against Domestic Violence. Poppie's stepfather has been reported to Social Services before and nothing was done to her case. On 26th of October she was beaten to death by her stepfather. We will always remember those big beautiful eyes and may you have the life now, that you always deserved


Posted by Anon on January 12th, 2017

October 27th:
Stephanie
died on October 27th, 2006

Steph, You got out of your stepdad's home and had a bit of a chance at life. You were so hurt that your mom never believed you and chose him over you. I know that pain was so deep. Life just never worked out the way we all wanted it to for you. You left this earth in such an unusual way, I still don't know if it was by your own hand or not. I actually hope it was so that you finally had control over something in your world. I miss you. Your Laugh. Your goofiness. Your Nemo! You left this world at the tender age of 31. I wish it had been a more friendly earth for you. They say the good die young. Perhaps the innocent do as well. be.


Posted by BeBold on December 30th, 2011

Raijon Daniels
died on October 27th, 2006

Raijon was an 8yo boy from California, whose mom tortured and killed him because she was legally insane. She left him home alone, tied to his bed, beat him, water-hosed him, and poured household chemicals on his genitals to make him stop urinating. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and released from a psychiatric care facility three years later.

Raijon's father struggles understanding this. "How can three years pass and she be OK after the acts that she did? How could someone who put Pine-Sol in a child's food, allow a child to jump from a second-story building, how could they be a model patient?" he wonders. "I still have so many questions." "In the beginning, I really wanted to see her suffer because she had made him suffer. But I can't pass judgment, I wasn't in the home. I forgive her, as crazy as that may sound, because of the faith that I have. Who am I to beat her down and dog her?"


Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2016

October 29th:
Birthday of the Internet
October 29th, 1969

For abuse survivors Internet means ability to find and share information, anonymously and privately. Victims of domestic violence, children/teens abused at home, seniors abused by their caretakers - can now google what is happening to them and whom can they reach for help. Survivors who struggle with PTSD or other aftermath of the trauma can now talk to each other about what we're going through, what helps, what doesn't, and how it all makes us feel. Internet is what broke the isolation and silence - most damaging aspects of abuse, and main reasons it happens. Today is the anniversary of the first APRANET transmission - the first time data was successfully sent from one computer to another.


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016


 

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
~ Albert Einstein
This page was last updated on February 12th, 2017
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