Memorial Wall

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This Memorial Wall is our tributes to those who have died as a result of child abuse, domestic violence, rape, religious abuse, or other types of abuse. Some of these people we knew personally, others we only heard of. Abuse is not a theoretical concept, it happens to real people, and costs lives. It's important to honor those we lost to abuse by telling their stories, so that the secret that killed them does not remain secret, and so that other lives might be saved, as a result of increased awareness.
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December 24th:
Desiree Robinson
died on December 24th, 2016

16yo Desiree from Chicago, USA, was a "bright and bubbly nurturer" according to her teachers and classmates. She enjoyed helping others as a church and community volunteer, played drums in a prep band, engaged in sports, excelled in the classroom, and liked color pink. Desiree went to stay with her grandparents in November, ran off two weeks later, but wasn't reported missing because sometimes she left home without permission (though for no longer than a night). "It was a mystery what she was doing, where she was," her grandfather said. Desiree was pimped out, advertised as an escort by a 33yo guy who delivered her on "dates" multiple times a day to different clients, provided clothes for her to wear, acted as security, and collected payments. On Christmas Eve he delivered Desiree to a client, and waited in a parked car outside, with his girlfriend. They fell asleep while waiting, and when he woke up the next morning and went looking for Desiree (whom he called "Nicki") - he found her dead body, beaten, strangled, and with a slit throat.

Posted by Manya on May 5th, 2019
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Ryan Lovell-Hancox
died on December 24th, 2008

Ryan was a 3yo boy from UK, and his mom wasn't coping too well, so she paid her cousin £40 a week to look after Ryan for a month before Christmas. This cousin, 19yo Kayley Boleyn, was living with her boyfriend, 25yo Christopher Taylor, and all three were "known" to statutory authorities. In fact, Taylor even visited his probation officer with Ryan, but somehow that never rang a bell. Ryan died of severe blow to his head. At the time of death he had 70 injuries on his body. Earlier that day, a social worker visited their house, saw Ryan covered with a bed sheet and heard him moaning. The social worker assumed the boy was just waking up, and didn't lift the sheet to look.

Posted by Manya on February 13th, 2016
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Ryon Smith
died on December 24th, 2005

Ryon was a 6yo boy from Missouri, USA, who didn't get along with his mom's boyfriend. The man locked Ryon in the closet because "he couldn't get any peace", and it was for so long that Ryon peed himself. Ryon called the man a racial slur (the man was black, Ryon's mom was white). As a punishment for that, the man beat the boy to death. The couple didn't call 911 till Ryon's body started to decompose.

Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2016
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December 25th:
Aniarael Macias
died on December 25th, 2013

Ania was a 13yo girl from Arizona, USA, whose parents were going through a rough divorce. Her mom didn't want her dad to have custody of the kids (Ania had three siblings). She left a suicide note saying that she will kill herself and the kids. On Christmas he was coming to pick them up, and she attacked him with a knife, causing multiple stab wounds. He drove away and called 911. The police found her sitting on the bed with three younger children, in the middle of a suicide attempt, and Ania's body in the bathroom. Children had trace amounts of narcotics in their system, and explained that their mom made them take her prescription medication, but Ania refused, and mom strangled her with her bare hands instead. The woman pled not guilty.

Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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Kristy Bamu
died on December 25th, 2010

15yo Kristy and his four brothers and sisters came to London for Christmas, to visit with their older sister and her husband. The couple accused their visitors of practicing kindoki (African witchcraft/sorcery/voodoo) and decided they needed deliverance. To accomplish this goal, they were beating on the siblings for three days, refusing to let them eat, drink, or sleep, forcing them to admit that they were sorcerers, tell on each other, and hurt each other. Kristy was tortured to death. The details are too graphic to post here, you can read them if you click on his name. When the police arrived on scene, "All were standing in the living room, hysterical, terrified and soaking wet. None of them spoke any English. Both girls appeared to be injured," according to court testimony.

Posted by Manya on February 5th, 2016
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Kassie (Girlfriend)
died on December 25th, 2008

Kassie had bipolar. We had an argument which led her to go to an old roof where we used to hang out. She jumped. That was the moment I developed Dissociative Identity Disorder. I feel to blame for the incident. It's hard to keep going sometimes, but I know she wouldn't want me to waste my life as well. I just miss her, is all..

Posted by Luke on March 29th, 2013
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December 26th:
Aliahna Lemmon
died on December 26th, 2011

9yo Aliahna from Indiana, USA, had a grandpa who was a convicted child molester. He lived in a mobile home park of about two dozen homes, where 15 other child molesters lived. He was ill, and Aliahna's mom moved there to help care for him, because he assured her the kids will be in no danger. The day after Christmas she wasn't feeling well, and asked a neighbor (also an ex-convict) to babysit her girls, 9yo Aliahna and her 6yo sister. He killed Aliahna and dismembered her body.

Posted by Manya on July 5th, 2016
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December 27th:
Omaree Varela
died on December 27th, 2013

9yo Omaree from New Mexico, USA, lived with his mom, stepdad, and two siblings. Both parents had a history of drug-related offenses. Child Protective Services received multiple reports about suspected abuse of the children; Omaree showed up to school with bruises. In June he called 911 because his mom and step dad were yelling and threatening him, they could be heard on the background, and it was disturbing enough that the 911 operator dispatched police officers to Omaree's home. The officers, however, left without making a report. "You guys seem like a good family," one of them said to the parents. "A decent family. Just be careful what you guys say when you say stuff like that. I am going to overlook it right now." They promised to contact Child Protective Services, but never did. Omaree was stomped to death six months later. "I didn't do it," his mom said. "It wasn't intentional. It was an accident. I was disciplining him. I kicked him the wrong way. It was an accident." Both parents were found guilty and sentenced.

Posted by Manya on October 17th, 2017
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December 28th:
Lucinda Knoll
died on December 28th, 2013

39yo mother of three from New York, USA, Mrs Knoll was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. He tried make it look like a robbery, so that she would die and he would get the custody of one of the children, the one they had in common. Mrs Knoll was "a happy and outgoing person who loved giving help to people in need," according to her family and friends.

Posted by Manya on December 13th, 2017
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December 29th:
Jyoti Singh Pandey (Nirbhaya)
died on December 29th, 2012

Jyoti was a 23yo girl from Delhi, India. Her dad sold his farm land and worked double shifts to give her an education, because she wanted to study and he loved her. "It never entered our hearts to ever discriminate," - he said, - "How could I be happy if my son is happy and my daughter isn't? And it was impossible to refuse a little girl who loved going to school."

On December 16th, Jyoti and her male friend saw a movie together in South Delhi, and at 9:30PM took a bus home. There were six other people on that bus, they all assaulted Jyoti and her friend, broke his ribs and knocked him unconscious, and violently beaten and raped Jyoti with a metal rod, before throwing them both on the side of the road. Jyoti fought back, leaving bite marks on all of her assailants. The friend survived, while Jyoti died a week later, after undergoing multiple surgeries to remove her inflamed intestines and reproductive organs.

The incident (commonly referred to as "the 2012 Delhi gang rape") resulted in public protests against the state and central governments for failing to provide adequate security for women. The Indian government re-evaluated its laws concerning rape prosecutions, passed multiple new laws and set up six new courts. Critics argue that the legal system remains slow to hear and prosecute rape cases, but most agree that the case has resulted in a tremendous increase in the public discussion of crimes against women and statistics show that there has been an improvement in the number of women willing to file a crime report.

Indian laws forbid disclosing rape victims' identity to the public without consent of their family, so initially Jyoti was referred to as Nirbhaya, "fearless".

Posted by Manya on October 17th, 2015
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Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon
died on December 29th, 2012

Lee-Ann Shannon's drowning came on the day she was due to leave home at her husband's insistence, to be replaced by his young lover - a woman who had lived in the Shannons' home earlier for about a year after Lee-Ann invited her in when she was homeless. "Her and Tim had what I thought was a loving marriage," Lee=Ann's mother said of her daughter. "(They had) many problems, because Tim was what I thought was a very controlling young man, but they just seemed to love each other so much." She said the two met in school, at Spring Arbor College, and kept in contact for five years before Lee-Ann finally agreed to marry him. Chaffin spoke of how much she misses her daughter, whom she said was highly intelligent, well-traveled, compassionate and a committed Christian.

Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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December 30th:
Izayah Wayne Denison
died on December 30th, 2008

2-month-old Izayah from Washington state, USA, was shaken and spanked with a spatula by his mom's boyfriend, while mom was in hospital, being treated for post-partum depression. The boyfriend pleaded guilty to second degree murder and is serving 14 year prison sentence. Izayah's organs saved lives of three babies.

Posted by Manya on December 13th, 2017
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December 31st:
Laura Aceves
died on December 31st, 2012

Laura was a 21yo mother from Arkansas, USA. She worked at a Tyson Foods plant, deboning chicken. Her apartment complex manager describes her as a "very, very sweet girl". "She went to work, and came home, and took care of her son," he said, "I don't think I ever saw her without a smile."

Laura had a violent ex, Victor Acuna-Sanchez, the father of her 4 months old son. He was out on bail, awaiting trial for previous attacks on Laura, including a felony for aggravated assault. Victor was under court order to have no contact with Laura and to check in with probation by phone twice week. He followed neither order, kept threatening to kill Laura, physically assaulting her, and damaging her property. She kept calling the police, but somehow they were unable to protect her. Laura's body was found in her apartment, with a gunshot wound to her head, and her 4 months old son covered in her blood. Victor was arrested the same evening in his mom's house, hiding in the shower with a .22-caliber handgun.

Posted by Manya on February 2nd, 2016
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died on December 31st, 2008

She was the most courageous and outgoing person I knew, and I wish I had been there more for her. She took her own life two days after my birthday.

Posted by Casey on July 17th, 2009
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January 1st:
Noelle Paquette
died on January 1st, 2013

27yo Noelle from Canada was a kindergarten teacher, a tutor, and a volunteer with the Sunshine Foundation (organization dedicated to fulfilling custom-made dreams for Canadian kids living with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses). On January 1st Noelle was at a New Year's Eve party with her boyfriend. They had a fight, and she decided to walk home, about 12 miles, at 2AM. During that walk Noelle was abducted, raped, and murdered by a couple (a 34yo woman and a 22yo man) who met online at a sex fetish site and frequently fantasized about raping and killing someone. Noelle happened to be "in the wrong place at the wrong time," as was stated in court.

Posted by Manya on June 25th, 2018
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Jeffrey Fehr
died on January 1st, 2012

18yo Jeffrey from California, USA, committed suicide because he was bullied for being gay. The bullying started as early as 3rd grade and continued till his death. "Jeff loved everyone with everything he had," said his friend. "He always wanted everyone to get along, without drama. He was a leader." Jeffrey's parents supported him, signed him up for counseling for depression, and encouraged him to pursue art, theater, dance, and cheerleading. He hung himself on New Year's day. "So many people gained strength from Jeff," his father said. "The unfortunate part is that Jeff didn't realize it."

Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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January 2nd:
Arisa Vana David
died on January 2nd, 2018

25yo Vana was involved in an on-and-off abusive relationship for the past seven years. "Many times she would write on Facebook that she and the man done and then people seeing them hugging up and walking the road," Vana's mom said. "The next thing people seeing the man beating her all over the place. She could not have talked to anyone, the man would feel offended. She got a little job in the parlour right here and he going there and abusing she. He always sticking up on her. Over a year ago, he pelt her with a cellphone and her eye got damaged, she always had to go to the doctor." Vana was choked to death in front of her two daughters, aged 7 and 2.

Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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