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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October 1st:
April Jones
died on October 1st, 2012

5yo April from Wales, UK, was abducted and murdered by a neighbor while she was riding her bike outside her home. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment without a possibility of parole, because April's blood and bone fragments were found at his cottage. April's body was never found, even though her disappearance prompted the largest missing person search in UK police history. Two years after the trial, Welsh government purchased the cottage where April was murdered and demolished it. Here's what April's mom said:

I want to know the truth no matter how horrific it is. I'm April's mum and I owe it to her to find out. (...)I admit I've been suicidal. What mum could cope with the thoughts I have inside my head? But when I think of April's last moments the picture in my head is so awful that I can't imagine he could say anything that could possibly be worse. We know April died a horrific death but I suppose I'm just hoping that it wasn't as horrific as I've imagined at my lowest points. (...)I didn't eat or sleep properly for weeks. I was at rock bottom and having suicidal thoughts. What I have doesn't feel like a life. I didn't try anything but the only thing that stopped me was my two other children. They've lost their sister. They can't lose their mum too.

On her birthday we'll lay some flowers on her grave but we won't celebrate. What's the point? There's no April to celebrate with. It would be easy to try to imagine what she would be like now. Would she look like her older sister, would she try to steal her make-up? We don't go there because things are hard enough. In my mind she'll never be nine or ten. She'll always be five.

Posted by Manya on October 2nd, 2016
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my father
died on October 1st, 2011

Dad im glad i got to know you before you passed away all is forgiven i love you with all my heart and soul

Posted by oneagleswings on April 16th, 2012
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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
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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
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October 4th:
Swathi Tirumalagiri
died on October 4th, 2017

Swathi Tirumalagiri a native of Hanamakonda in Telangana, was found dead in London. Following the death, her parents and relatives accused her husband Sripathi Rajesh, a techie, and her in-laws S Srinivas and Vijaya of murdering her. Her relatives said that Swathi and Rajesh married on November 4, 2016, and alleged that Rajesh was given as dowry during the time of wedding. Once married the couple moved to London for employment. Speaking to media Swathi's parents claimed that their daughter would call and complain that she was being harassed every day, as her in-laws were demanding additional dowry. The family also said that Swathi spoke to her parents on October 2, and said that she wanted to return home from London. However, just two days later Swathi's husband called and said that she had fallen into the sea, and that she was admitted in the hospital before later ringing and say she was dead.

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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October 5th:
Sonia Santiesteban
died on October 5th, 2013

Sonia Santiesteban, 66, a loving grandmother raising her three grandchildren was murdered, police said, by her own daughter. “I went down there for the safety of the kids,” said a neighbor “When I entered there it was awful, the scene was awful that’s all I can say about, it was horrible and it was sad because the kids were still in there the killer was in there also,” Miami-Dade Police said the killer was Yudenia Rodriguez, 40, who stabbed her mother to death after the two got into an argument.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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October 6th:
Edna Trinity Mazzell Hunt
died on October 6th, 2011

On the night of Oct. 6, 2011, 3 year old Edna was taken to the emergency room at Marlboro Park Hospital. She was lifeless and not breathing. She was pronounced dead soon after. “In Edna Hunt, what I found was that she had a massive infection that started as a urinary tract infection,” Dr. Cynthia Schandl, a pathologist at the Medical University of South Carolina, testified. “The bacteria climbed up the urethra, then to bladder and kidneys. The kidneys were full of bacterial infection. What happened to Edna, as a result of this infection, she ended up with a blood infection and from that, she died.” Schandl said although trauma was not the official cause of death, the autopsy showed signs of severe and habitual abuse. “I immediately saw that she had a number of injuries to her body, seven or eight to the head and neck area, bruising to the inner legs and vagina, small round burns in her skin"...Edna also had bruising to her inner thighs, a prominent sign of sexual abuse, and even had cigarette burns to her vagina and buttocks – one about a centimeter inside the vagina that had been inflicted within 48 hours of her death.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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October 7th:
Ryan Patrick Halligan
died on October 7th, 2003

On Oct. 7, 2003, Ryan committed suicide, hanging himself in the bathroom of his home. He was 13 years old. When Ryan alerted his father, John, to the homophobic teasing, John encouraged his son to brush it off. “My initial response was, ‘It’s just words. You need to just ignore [the bullies]. Walk away,’” Ryan’s mom, Kelly, said back then that she felt the boy’s self-esteem plummet, and she decided it was time for Ryan to get professional help. John truly believed this would be the resolution his son needed. “The combination of a therapist and the advice that we were giving him, you know, I thought we were going to be OK,” he says. However, they weren’t. Ryan Halligan, suffered the torment of bullies, who targeted him both in school and online. On Oct. 7, 2003, he committed suicide, hanging himself in the bathroom of his home. He was 13 years old. “I was never prepared for that phone call. My wife, Kelly, crying hysterically, ‘John, you need to come home, you need to come home. Our son is dead,’” John said. John has since left his job as an engineer and now speaks full-time at schools about bullying. “I’ve been sharing Ryan’s story with students, middle-school level and high-school level,” he says. “I’ve been to about 1,300 schools at this point, throughout the United States, Canada [and] Mexico.”

Posted by Jane on June 19th, 2018
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Melissa 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
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October 8th:
Lucia Perez
died on October 8th, 2016

Lucia Perez, 16, was drugged and raped before being killed in the city of Mar del Plata. Two men who left her at a hospital said she overdosed on drugs. But doctors found evidence she had been subjected to extreme sexual violence. Activists urged women to wear black and join street marches.Thousands of protesters marched in Buenos Aires and other Argentine cities on Wednesday afternoon. "If you touch one of us, we all react," read signs carried by many protesters.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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October 9th:
Lizzi Marriott
died on October 9th, 2012

19yo Lizzi from New Hampshire, USA, was "always happy and she always found the best in everyone," according to her friends. "She had such an aura about her. You know, people wanted to talk to her." "Lizzi was vivacious," her mom said. "She loved her friends, she loved the little critters around her. You know, you'd see her and she'd have a tortoise in her hand or a little turtle, and, you know, be putting it back on the brook side of our road." Lizzi had just entered the University of New Hampshire as a sophomore. "It has a wonderful marine biology program," her uncle said. "And it's where she really wanted to go."

On October 9th of 2012 Lizzi was invited over by a coworker from Target. The coworker and her boyfriend were into BDSM and looking for a third partner. At first they claimed that Lizzi's death was an accident that happened during consensual sex, after which they panicked and dumped her body in the ocean. However, when the coworker was offered a plea deal to testify against her boyfriend, she explained that what happened to Lizzi was deliberate and premeditated rape and murder. "I didn't want to lose him," she explained. "He was the only person I had. ...I didn't have anywhere else I could go." The boyfriend was found guilty of first-degree murder by strangulation, guilty of first-degree rape and murder, and guilty on two counts of conspiracy.

Lizzi's body was never found, it's in the ocean, the place she loved so much. "I haven't been to the beach since she died," her mom said. "I can't go. I just see it, and it's so overwhelming."

Posted by Manya on June 25th, 2018
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Anne-Marie Ellement
died on October 9th, 2011

On 8 October, 2011, Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, a soldier in the Royal Military Police (RMP), was with friends and family to celebrate her 30th birthday in a restaurant close to her family home. Anne-Marie, appeared happy, chatting away and enjoying her food and wine. As she shouted "love you" to her sister and left the party, Anne-Marie seemed in high spirits. The next day, sometime in the early evening, she tied a scarf to a fire escape outside her barracks and hanged herself. The word 'Sorry' was written in lipstick on the mirror inside her room. Anne-Marie had dreamed of joining the Army since she was a teenager. So what went wrong in the Army for a woman who was proud to wear her uniform? In the summer of 2009, Anne-Marie was transferred from her first post in Northern Ireland to Sennelager, Germany. "She really wanted to go there," says Anne-Marie's sister Sharon. At first, she loved her work in the new posting, but it was soon to change. Following a night out in November 2009, Anne-Marie reported being raped by two soldiers. After reporting the incident, she was subject to bullying by colleagues, and even her Sergeant, who posted messages about problems with her work on Facebook. During phone calls home, Anne-Marie told her sisters that the girls on the block were taunting her, banging on her door and making her life miserable. The bullies apparently included the girlfriend of one of the men Anne-Marie had accused of rape. During the inquest she was said to have called her a "slag" and to have vowed to "make her life hell". "Anne-Marie was badly let down by her commanding officers and many of her colleagues," says Kirsten Heaven, a lawyer representing the family. "The distress at being disbelieved when reporting rape was then made far worse by the bullying that was allowed to continue until her death".

Posted by Jane on July 4th, 2018
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Rachael Neblett
died on October 9th, 2006

Rachael Neblett (17) committed suicide after being "cyber-bullied". Her family says bullying lead to their daughter's suicide. "I don't know what went through her mind,"..."She was tore up inside. She was just scared to death, but she didn't tell us," said Mark Neblett, her father. Her family claim someone from her school set up a dummy account on myspace two weeks ago and started sending her threating messages. Her sister read them all: "Meet me out front of school by the trailors and and we'll settle it there and honey, but the why, you are not going to the hospital. I'm going to put you in the morgue," At just 4-foot-seven and 90 pounds, she says Rachael was terrifed.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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October 10th:
Cecilia Lam
died on October 10th, 2014

On Friday, Cecilia Lam was shot by partner. Police were called out to the 500 block of Natoma Avenue on reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found 29-year-old Cedric Young Jr. and Lam, both suffering from gunshot wounds. Police confirmed that Young had shot Lam before turning the gun on himself. He died that day. Lam was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries. She was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon. Police told reporters that the incident was a domestic violence case; Young had been arrested the night before the murder-suicide after responding to the apartment multiple times for domestic disturbances. After the third time, police arrested Young on suspicion of public drunkenness. He was booked into San Francisco County Jail and released Friday morning at 4 a.m. Shortly after being released, Young reportedly went back to the apartment where he lived with Lam. Police were called out there again. At that time, he claimed he was just picking up some of his things. Police waited while he grabbed his stuff and left. An hour later, he returned to the apartment and shot both Lam and himself.

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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