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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May 26th:
Mackenzie Maison
died on May 26th, 2015

5yo Mackenzie and her 3yo sister Makayla from Detroit were starved by their parents. Makayla survived, weighing 17 pounds (she was bigger as an 8 month old baby than as a 3yo child), and Mackenzie passed away. Her grandma said that her parents never withheld food, she was just picky. When her mom called 911, she initially also said that she's calling because Mackenzie refuses to eat, and only later admitted the 5yo wasn't breathing. Medical experts have testified Mackenzie was bruised, malnourished, dehydrated and had pneumonia. She weighed 25 pounds. Both parents were found guilty of felony murder in Mackenzie's death, and first-degree child abuse and torture of both girls.


Posted by Manya on February 2nd, 2016
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May 27th:
Burulai Turdaaly Kyzy
died on May 27th, 2018

20yo Burulai from Kyrgyzstan was about to graduate from medical school, and to marry her fiance. However, a local cab driver was infatuated with her. He subjected her to a practice called ala kachu, which is a bride kidnapping followed by a forced marriage, but Burulai's father was able to rescue her. The cab driver was continuing to pressure for marriage and making death threats, so Burulai moved to another district, to stay with her aunt, for safety. However, on May 27th she visited her parents to help her mother during the holy month of Ramadan, and went to the store to buy yogurt for her father. As soon as Burulai left the house, the cab driver abducted her. Her father saw it happen, but couldn't intervene in time. He contacted the police, both Burulai and her abductor were detained, and her father was told to come pick her up from the police station. However, Burulai was held in the same room with her abductor, and he stabbed her to death while the police were "distracted".


Posted by Manya on May 4th, 2019
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Farzana Parveen
died on May 27th, 2014

30yo Farzana from Pakistan was bludgeoned to death by her family for marrying her husband. They loved each other, she was pregnant by him, and her family initially approved of the marriage, but withdrew their consent after her husband refused to pay more than the agreed-upon bride price. Farzana's father accused him of abducting her, and she testified to the police that she had married her husband of her own free will. Her family then stoned her to death in front of a police station. Her father said, "I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it."


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017
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May 28th:
Brittany-Jane Royal
died on May 28th, 2013

25yo Brittany-Jane from California, USA, lived with her boyfriend in a tent on a lava field in Hawaii; they were hoping to start an organic farm. Brittany-Jane was 10 weeks pregnant when her boyfriend strangled her during a domestic dispute. "Brittany's life was about peace (and) love," her mother wrote. "We can all learn from her. She was searching for the perfect place to call home and to raise a child. She is now in that ultimate paradise."


Posted by Manya on May 11th, 2017
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Phil Hartman
died on May 28th, 1998

Phil Hartman was an actor and a comedian, most known for his work on Saturday Night Live. He was also known to his family and friends as a loving father of two children. He was hard working, but also enjoyed spending time on his boat and out in nature. Phil experienced domestic violence while married to his third wife, who shot and killed him in the early morning of May 28, 1998.


Posted by Tasha1701D on September 24th, 2019
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May 29th:
Asher Lesyshen-Kirlan
died on May 29th, 2013

Asher was a 9yo boy from Colorado who played violin, enjoyed ski jumping, hiking, camping, fishing, and soccer. His parents were living together, but were estranged. On May 27th Asher's mom found out his dad was having an affair. They had an argument where she struck him multiple times, but they seemed to work it out in the end, and he agreed to not divorce her immediately, so that she could keep his health insurance. The the next day seemed to go on as usual, with her going to work and the family eating together, but at 3AM, while her husband was sleeping in the basement, she went to Asher's room and shot the sleeping boy to death, leaving a note to her husband that said, "Remember you are responsible for what has happened here and you are the person that caused it." It was signed, "Lisa & Asher". She then attempted to kill herself too, but survived (though paralyzed), and eventually pled guilty to the murder.

"We did a lot of hiking, a lot of backpack trips. Those are incredibly powerful memories for me," said Asher's dad. "I know every town worth passing through, but what good does knowing do with no one to show it to? I kind of feel that way about Asher."


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016
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Brandon
died on May 29th, 1998

I'm sorry i wasn't there for you when you needed me.I'm sorry for letting you down.I'm sorry for the events that occurred that night that lead to you taking your life.I blame myself and will never forgive myself.I will live with till the day i die.I loved you so much and still do.There isn't a night that i don't think of you or a day i don't cry for you.I hope you have found peace.


Posted by Jennifer on October 23rd, 2013
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May 30th:
Lisa Isham
died on May 30th, 2015

52yo Lisa Isham from Minnesota, USA, was stabbed to death by her on-and-off boyfriend. She was a "bubbly" person who generally kept to herself (according to her friends), and he had a history of domestic violence, including several felony assaults. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.


Posted by Manya on May 11th, 2017
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May 31st:
Azan Majid Janjua
died on May 31st, 2017

11yo Azan spent the first eight years of his life with his mom in Russia, and then moved to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to live with his dad, as they agreed when he was born. The dad, originally from Pakistan, graduated a medical school in Russia and was living in Abu Dhabi with his father, second wife, and two young children. "We had a nice time since Azan joined us," he said. "He liked his younger siblings." On May 31st the family was celebrating Ramadan. Azan was fasting with his parents, said his morning prayers with him, went to a mosque for the afternoon prayer and Quran recitation, and headed home. A man dressed in burka, like a woman, lured Azan into the elevator in his apartment building, took him to the rooftop, and raped and murdered him. He knew the boy wouldn't go with a man without his parents' permission. Azan's body was found the next morning by AC technicians, half naked, with his copy of Quran next to him.


Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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Pleasant Ervin Shorty Robinson
died on May 31st, 2010

57yo Mr Robinson, a welder from Texas, USA, was a father of three and a member of The Moose Lodge, a fraternal and service organization popular in North America. He was killed by his wife, who buried him in their front yard and told everyone he left her with another woman. His body wasn't discovered for three years, but eventually she pleaded guilty to murder.


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017
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Pam Sweeney
died on May 31st, 1991

Pam Sweeney worked at Unisys Corp and was acquainted with Patrick Walsh, whom she sometimes gave rides to work. She didn't want to date him when she was asked to go out. She reported that after refusing numerous dates, he began stalking her by showing up at her home uninvited, driving by her house, and making harassing phone calls. She was assaulted after he broke into her home and then he shot and stabbed her to death. Her fiance found her and called the police.


Posted by Tasha1701D on June 12th, 2020
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June 1st:
Maria Sadaqat
died on June 1st, 2016

19yo Maria from Pakistan worked as an elementary school teacher, and didn't want to marry the son of the school's owner. "They sent in the proposal six months ago but the guy had already been married and had a daughter," explained Maria's aunt. "They wanted her to run the school after marrying the son of the owner of the school. Her father refused the proposal and they took the revenge by doing this." Maria was beaten, covered in petrol, and set on fire; she died of her injuries the next day.


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017
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Funmilayo Ajibola
died on June 1st, 2012

30yo Funmilayo Ajibola died in Badagry, Lagos State after being allegedly beaten by her husband, she was pregnant at the time. Her husband had a known history of spousal abuse.


Posted by Jane on July 21st, 2018
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June 2nd:
Elaina Steinfurth
died on June 2nd, 2013

Elaina was an 18-month-old baby from Ohio, USA, killed by her mom and mom's boyfriend. Elaina was crying, and mom threw her against the wall and then called her boyfriend, who suffocated the baby and hid the body in his garage. Here's a quote from Elaina's father statement to court:

I would like to start by telling the court what kind of sweet baby Elaina was. She was a playful little girl who was full of energy. She loved to swing and would chase her older sister Kylie around for hours. She was also a very loving baby who loved to be held and cuddled. She would lay and nap with me for hours during the day while I slept for work on third shift.

I have many memories I will always keep of Elaina; memories of her playing in the sprinkler in the backyard, memories of her running around at Chuck E. Cheese and playing games. But what I remember most about Elaina is she was a fighter. Due to being born with problems with her feet, doctors said it would take her longer than normal to be able to learn to walk. But Elaina went through months of physical therapy and was walking by her first birthday. Elaina was strong and very determined and that I will never forget about my little girl.



Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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Omega Leach
died on June 2nd, 2007

In May, 17-year-old Omega Leach arrived at the Chad Youth Enhancement Center outside Nashville, a mental-health facility for troubled teenagers approved by the city's Department of Human Services. His stay was brief. Omega died after a physical confrontation with staff on June 3. He tried to choke one counselor, and another staffer pushed Leach facedown to the floor and pulled his arms behind his back, police said. His mother, Paulette Dolby, cried when asked about her son. She referred reporters to a lawyer, Edith Pearce, Pearce described Leach as an ordinary teenager who loved basketball and video games and doted on his younger sister. He carried a grade point average of 2.7 at Daniel Boone disciplinary school. "My career goal is to be a lawyer," he wrote recently, in words quoted in his funeral program. "I like helping people, so I plan to be an affordable lawyer, and in that case I will have to go to college."


Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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June 3rd:
Wadeema Al Shirawi
died on June 3rd, 2012

8yo Wadeema and 7yo Mira from United Arab Emirates used to live in a studio apartment with their dad and dad's girlfriend. "It smelled really bad and was dirty," the police testified in court. "There was only one bed and the furniture was turned upside down. The girls' clothes stank and there was mess everywhere. The fridge was full of food which was out of date. No one could live in it." The girls' father believed that they were possessed by evil spirits, and, along with his girlfriend, has been attempting to exorcise them for months. Here's how 7yo Mira described this process: "They used wire, bars and a stun gun to torture us. They used to throw boiling water on us and even used a heated iron on my skin for no reason. They used to lock us in the bathroom, tie our hands up and make us eat our own feces." Wadeema died sometime between June 1st and June 5th. Mira was rescued by her uncle, but sustained permanent disability; she's now in custody of her mother, and receiving therapy. The father was executed; his girlfriend was sentenced to life without parole.

Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, visited Mira in hospital in 2012, offered to pay her expenses, and ordered the drafting of a federal child protection law to ensure a secure and stable future for children. In 2016 Federal Law No-3 on children’s rights was issued, and became known as Wadeema Law. It's a 12 page document that lays out the legal rights of minors, establishes punishments for those who violate those rights and allows childcare specialists to remove children from their homes against parents’ wishes and without judicial permission in cases of imminent danger.


Posted by Manya on October 2nd, 2018
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Devin Parsons
died on June 3rd, 2011

12yo Devin from Indiana, USA lived with his little brother and sister, his mom, and his mom's boyfriend. He was an outdoorsy kind of boy, loved basketball, football, fishing, and hunting. Almost every Sunday, he got his little sister and brother ready for church, and they waited for the church bus to pick them up. Devin's little sister called him "the Protector." Their home life wasn't safe; family members, the police, and Devin's school sent a total of 19 reports to Child Protective Services about drugs, violence, and neglect, majority of them being in the last school year. On the first day of school summer break, Devin's mom and her boyfriend beat the boy to death because some of their drugs were missing and they suspected he hid them. Here's a poem that Devin wrote:

Peace is friendship and being healthy
Peace is like the fresh yellow sun
Peace sounds like dogs howling
Peace tastes like candy


Posted by Manya on March 22nd, 2017
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June 4th:
Shaun Corey
died on June 4th, 2011

Shaun, 42, lived in Rochdale before leaving to make a new future for himself in London. He met his killer Karen Otmani through an internet dating site. Their relationship, was tempestuous. Despite repeated pleas from his relatives to return home, Shaun stayed because he was worried about what she might do and not wanting to leave his child. On June 4 last year Karen drugged and suffocated him. Shaun's mum Joyce Townsend felt Otmani's minimum 17-year sentence should have been much longer. "I feel angry," said Joyce. "All he wanted was to be loved. He just wanted a family but he got in a relationship with the wrong person. He was a lovely lad. "If your child dies because he was ill maybe it is easier to come to terms with, but this was premeditated murder. His sister Dawn said the warning signs were there, but Shaun always saw the good in people.


Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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Suvarna Naik
died on June 4th, 2011

26yo Suvarna from India was a victim of dowry death. She had a 6 months old daughter, but her husband and in-laws were harassing and abusing her, claiming that the dowry they received for her from her family wasn't sufficient. Suvarna hung herself in her bedroom. The police charged her husband and in-laws with abetment to suicide, harassment for dowry, and dowry death.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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Travis Alexander
died on June 4th, 2008

Travis was a 30yo man from Arizona, USA, who worked as a salesman and motivational speaker for a legal services company. He was trying to break up with his girlfriend of two years, complained to his friends that she was stalking him and slashed his tires, and was about to leave to Mexico with another woman. The ex girlfriend drove nearly two thousand miles to his home, they had some private time that they took pictures of, then he took shower, which she took pictures of as well, and the next pictures on the camera, taken within minutes, are of his dead body in the bathtub full of blood, with 27 stab wounds, a slit throat, and a gunshot wound to the head.

It was a capital murder trial, i.e. the woman was risking a death sentence, so she told three separate versions of what happened. First, that she hasn't seen Travis in two months and doesn't know what happened to him. Then, that someone broke into his home, murdering him and attacking her. Her final version, which she first mentioned two years into the case, was that he was abusive to her and that she killed him in self-defense. She even wore a t-shirt that said "survivor" to trial, causing much controversy among Domestic Violence activists, some of whom view her as a victim, while others view her as a perpetrator. In the end she was convicted and sentenced to life without parole. Here's a quote from Travis' obituary:

Travis lived each day as if it were his last, with many accomplishments, dreams, travels, and successes. He was an amazing individual who sought out to save the world with his positive influence, his motivational speaking and his writing. He was well on his way to making all his dreams a reality. Travis has touched so many lives and will continue in our hearts forever and always. We can never express the unbearable pain from this tragedy.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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