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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July 8th:
Laiba Umar
died on July 8th, 2017

8yo Laiba from Kasur, Pakistan, was kidnapped on her way to Madrasa (religious school), raped, strangled to death, and dumped at a construction site. Her rapist and murderer was caught about a month later; he raped and killed 6 other young girls in the same area in the months prior to Laiba's death.

Posted by Manya on December 7th, 2018
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Elijah Strickland
died on July 8th, 2008

Elijah was a 3yo boy from Pennsylvania, USA, who was killed by his mom's boyfriend three hours after she left to work. The man claimed that Elijah's injuries resulted from CPR he tried to perform on the boy, but the jury found this argument unconvincing.

Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2016
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July 9th:
Alexis Rose McClain
died on July 9th, 2010

3yo Alexis from California, USA, was living with her dad and stepmom because her mom lost custody of her. The family moved to Kansas and then to a small town in Colorado, where the last murder was in 2004 and the last child abuse resulting in death was in 1970s. Alexis was abused to death, from October 2009 through July 2010, when she was admitted to a hospital with a crushed skull and was pronounced dead the next day. The indictment stated that her parents "engaged in a continued pattern of conduct that resulted in cruel punishment, mistreatment or accumulation of injuries that resulted in the death of the child". "We do give a voice to those who have none," said the District Attorney. "The child, when she died at the hands of her father, that was a gift to her, setting her free from the torture and abuse that she had experienced." Alexis' dad was sentenced to 48 years and stepmom to 12 years (plea bargain in exchange for testimony against her husband).

Posted by Manya on May 13th, 2017
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July 10th:
Isaiah Buckner
died on July 10th, 2013

10yo Isaiah from Vermont, USA, loved video games, action figures, comic books, and anything to do with Sonic. His favorite food was chicken, popcorn, popsicles, Airheads, Fruity Pebbles & Lucky Charms. He could never get enough orange juice. He loved spending time with his friends at the Austine School for the Deaf, cuddling with his mom and dad, getting tickled, taking pictures, and giving everyone around him hugs and kisses. "He was a boy filled with curiosity for everything and a love that shined brighter than the largest star that warmed whomever's heart was lucky enough for it to shine its light upon it. There was not a hateful or angry bone in his beautiful body." Isaiah was beaten to death by his caregiver.

Posted by Manya on June 16th, 2017
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Shivani Kapoor
died on July 10th, 2013

35yo Shivani Kapoor, pediatric occupational therapist from UK, had a 1yo daughter and a husband with a gambling problem. He was 8,000 pounds in debt, pawning her and their daughter's jewelry, and about to lose his job at a bank. Mrs Kapoor was concerned, and even considered divorce, but decided to stay with her husband for the sake of their daughter. On July 10th, 2013, he strangled her and told the police she must have fell off a stool and hit her head.

Posted by Manya on July 28th, 2018
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July 11th:
Juliette Geurts
died on July 11th, 2008

2yo Juliette from Nebraska was living with her mom, twin sister, and mom's boyfriend. On July 10th she was feverish and even had a febrile seizure (which happens to toddlers sometimes). The next day she was still cranky, cried a lot, mom wouldn't come, and Juliette went to her mom's room herself. The adults were drunk and having sex, and mom's boyfriend beat Juliette to death for interrupting them. She died from damage to internal organs caused by blunt force trauma.

Posted by Manya on May 17th, 2017
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July 12th:
Gary DeToma
died on July 12th, 2010

Parents of 5yo Gary and 4yo Will from Georgia, USA, were divorcing, and fighting over custody. When their dad felt that he was about to lose the battle, he attempted to kill both the kids and himself. His coworkers became concerned when he didn't show up to work the next day, so they came by his house in the afternoon, and 4yo Will opened the door for them. They found dead Gary with a plastic bag around his head, and unconscious but alive father beside him. He pled guilty to murder, to avoid death penalty, but then tried to reverse his plea.

Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016
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July 13th:
Conrad Roy
died on July 13th, 2014

18yo Conrad from Massachusetts, USA, worked at his family's marine salvage business for many years, and earned his captain's license in the spring of 2014. In June he graduated high school on the Honor Roll and had been accepted to Fitchburg State University, but decided not to go. Conrad had a long-distance girlfriend (they didn't live far away from each other but only met a few times, mostly texting, chatting, and videocalling). Both teens had mental health problems: she had an eating disorder and may have self-injured by cutting; he spoke of having been physically hit by his father and verbally abused by his grandfather, suffered from social anxiety and depression, and tried to kill himself in 2012 (he was taking an antidepressant, which lists suicidal urges as one of the side effects). At first the girlfriend used to discourage Conrad from committing suicide, but in July of 2014 she decided it would be a "good thing to help him die." They had numerous conversations where she was encouraging him to kill himself. On July 13th Conrad, while on the phone with his girlfriend, used a portable water pump to fill his truck with carbon monoxide. He got scared and wanted to leave the truck, but she texted him to get back in. The girlfriend was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Juvenile Court, after prosecutors successfully argued the then 17-year-old was an attention-seeking teen, desperate to play the grieving girlfriend. She was sentenced to 2.5 years. She "exploited my son's weaknesses and used him as a pawn," Conrad's father said. "She has not shown any remorse. The fact that she has convinced to him to kill himself is unimaginable. Where was her humanity? In what world is this behavior OK and acceptable?"

Posted by Manya on June 16th, 2018
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July 14th:
Assia Newton
died on July 14th, 2013

44yo Assia Newton from UK has been married to her husband for 23 years, and they had three daughters. The girls describe their dad as "violent, controlling, and jealous". "He controlled her and didn't like her having any friends or going out anywhere. He was never really nice to her." In 2013 mom and one daughter went on a holiday abroad to celebrate the girl's 18th birthday. Mrs Newton fell in love with another man there, stayed in touch over the internet, and visited him again. "Mum came home from her first holiday in Tunisia and said the people out there were really friendly," her daughter said. "Mum talked to me about Mohammed everyday after the second trip. He would listen to her and she was just happy that someone was paying her nice attention." Mrs Newton asked her husband for divorce, and he strangled her with a dog lead.

Assia Newton'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
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July 15th:
Jordan Gonsioroski
died on July 15th, 2006

Jordan was a 10yo girl from Minnesota, and her parents divorced. She stayed with her mom at first, but complained that her mom's boyfriend molested her, so CPS removed her from mom's home and placed her with her dad instead. On July 15th Jordan (who was malnourished) sneaked some nacho chips into her clothing. Her father and his girlfriend punished Jordan by placing her in scalding water. Jordan had burns on 73% of her body, she was barely conscious and her skin was coming off, but nobody called 911. Her father was smoking pot outside, and his girlfriend gave her a Tylenol. Jordan died a few hours later.

Posted by Manya on February 13th, 2016
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July 16th:
Vika Demyanova
died on July 16th, 2018

14yo Vika from Perm, Russia, was a polite and friendly girl, according to neighbors and teachers. She was receiving good grades in school, and had many friends. Vika lived with her mom, who never said hello to her neighbors, always wore sunglasses, and wouldn't let anyone into their apartment. In spring of 2018 mom told Vika that she had cancer and diabetes, which should be cured by fasting. Vika's teachers became concerned with her weight loss and spoke to her mom, who responded that you only need to eat once or twice a week. In May Vika told her school friends that she needs to survive till September, when school (and the school cafeteria) re-opens after the summer break. Vika died of emaciation on July 16th. She didn't have either cancer or diabetes. When her mom was arrested, she blamed Vika's death on anorexia and said she didn't reach out for help for fear of losing custody of Vika.

Posted by Manya on December 7th, 2018
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Talia Williams
died on July 16th, 2005

5yo Talia from Hawaii, USA, lived with her dad, a former soldier, and his wife. They "disciplined" Talia for bathroom accidents by repeatedly punching her, commanding her to eat her own feces, depriving her of food, requiring strenuous exercise, and using duct tape to bind her to a bed post and cover her eyes as she was whipped with a belt. Talia's room had no mattress, blankets, or furniture, which were taken away as punishment, according to court documents. On July 16th Talia was beaten to death. Her dad was sentenced to life in prison, and her stepmom got 20 years, a plea deal to testify against her husband.

Posted by Manya on June 15th, 2018
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July 17th:
Kailey Vijil
died on July 17th, 2015

Kailey was a 12yo girl from Utah, USA. A 15yo boy knocked on her door around midnight and asked her for help looking for his lost car. Kailey's body was found hours later in a nearby horse pasture. According to court documents, the girl had been sexually assaulted and had a piece of clothing wrapped around her neck.

Posted by Manya on May 20th, 2016
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