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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June 21st:
Anthony Avalos
died on June 21st, 2018

10yo Anthony from California, USA, lived with his mom, her boyfriend, and eight siblings ranging in age from 11 months to 12 years. Department of Children and Family Services responded to 12 different complaints about Anthony's welfare, including physical abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse by a grandparent when Anthony was 4. He was removed from home for 8 months, but eventually was sent back.

On June 20th Anthony's mom called 911 to report that he had been inured in a fall. Paramedics found him unresponsive and not breathing, and he died the next day. His step dad was arrested on suspicion of murder. "I'm mad, because there was multiple reports done," Anthony's aunt said. "There were phone calls, and nobody did anything. I don’t know why they thought that was OK for them to go back with their mother."

Posted by Manya on June 29th, 2018
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June 22nd:
Trisha Sadler
died on June 22nd, 2011

29yo Trisha from Pennsylvania, USA, was raised by a loving family who adopted her as a preschooler. She was a cheerleading champion, a giving volunteer, and a popular employee at the bank where she worked. Trisha was living with her boyfriend of nine years. He had multiple prior convictions for assaults, was violent with her before, and she was supporting him financially. Their neighbors called police because of the noise, and Trisha's coworkers noticed her bruises. Two weeks before her death, Trisha gave her co-worker a warning: If I don't come to work, call the police. He's said he's going to kill me.

When Trisha didn't come to work and the police arrived to her house, they found Trisha's dismembered body in garbage bags, and her boyfriend who barricaded himself in one of the rooms and was screaming, "You won't take me alive." He suffers from schizophrenia and pleaded "guilty but mentally ill" to first degree murder; that doesn't change his sentence, but makes him eligible for treatment in prison.

"She was the baby of the family," Trisha's dad said. "As with any girl in the family, your brothers are very protective of you, and the loss of their only sister has hit them very hard."

Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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June 23rd:
Joey Antonio Nesmith
died on June 23rd, 2006

Joey Antonio Nesmith, 26 yo was fatally injured during a domestic argument with his girl friend. Police found him stabbed several times in the stomach inside an apartment building in West Charlotte. Joey was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Posted by Jane on July 6th, 2018
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Annjannette Lloyd
died on June 23rd, 2006

Police found Annjannette Lloyd, 31, dead of stab wounds early on the morning of June 23, 2006. Her 9 yo son was sleeping in the bed with his mother when her ex boyfriend broke into the home through a window and attacked them. Jackson stabbed her son in the chest, legs, back and head, but the boy escaped and fled to a neighbor’s home. Her son surrounded by family and court counselors, watched quietly from the last bench in the courtroom as his mother's killer was led away. He’d been brought in at the end of his sentencing just to see that. “I had to explain to him that life without parole would mean he would never get out of prison,” said a High Point police Detective.

Posted by Jane on July 6th, 2018
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June 24th:
Nicola Raphael
died on June 24th, 2001

15yo Nicola from Scotland was bullied in school because she liked Goth music and clothing style. She was fearing for her safety, felt under the threat of physical assault, and spoke to school counselors about it - but didn't want to tell her mom. Nicola overdosed on her mom's painkillers. Her friend Ashley set up a website and email address and invited bullied children too afraid to tell an adult to write in with their experiences. "I was amazed at how many people wrote to me with their stories - and just how many people are being bullied," she said.

Posted by Manya on June 15th, 2018
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June 25th:
Daniel Christopher Benoit
died on June 25th, 2007

7yo Christopher from Georgia, USA, loved going to the beach with his grandparents, reading with his aunt, playing with his two German Shepherds, riding horses, and watching animals on TV. His mom was a professional wrestling valet and a model, and his dad was a professional wrestler. On June 22nd, 2007, Christopher's dad strangled him and his mom, and three days later committed suicide. Motives are unknown; according to medical examiner, "Benoit's brain was so severely damaged it resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient," possibly due to repeated, untreated concussions throughout his wrestling career.

Posted by Manya on May 12th, 2017
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June 26th:
Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu
died on June 26th, 2006

8yo Sofia from Western Australia had mom, dad, and two older siblings. On June 26th she was at a local mall with her uncle and 14yo brother. Sofia went to the bathroom and never came back. Her brother found her dead body just 10 minutes later. Sofia was sexually assaulted and killed in the bathroom stall by a mall employee who has been investigated for a similar assault on another 8yo girl three years prior.

"As a family we talk about Sofia maybe once or twice a week," her father said. "We talk more as if Sofia is still around somehow more than what happened. She would have turned 18 (last year), she would be driving now, legal now. You also get strength from situations like this and we feel stronger now ... we also feel that Sofia has been helping us." Sofia's school established an annual scholarship in her honor, and The Chapel of the Innocents in their church.

Posted by Manya on October 13th, 2017
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Aiwa Matsuo
died on June 26th, 2004

15yo Aiwa from Japan was murdered by her classmate (female). The girl lured Aiwa into her apartment, beat her, strangled her to death, and then decapitated her corpse. The reason she had her own apartment at 15 was because she attacked her father with a metal baseball bat, prompting him to move her into her own apartment. She had several medical text books, used to hurt small animals, posted photos of Aiwa's body on a message board, and told the police "I wanted to kill someone." Her father apologized to Aiwa's family for his daughter's mental health, and hanged himself two months later.

Posted by Manya on May 12th, 2017
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June 27th:
Julie Parkin
died on June 27th, 2017

39yo Julie Parker, primary school teacher from from UK, discovered that her husband had a sexual interest in a child and had made indecent videos. She confronted him, he packed his bags, but then "snapped" and stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife. "She was so sad when she found out what I really am," he said. "I should have killed myself. What is wrong with me? There is something wrong with me." His browsing history included "Cambodia child abuse," "teacher sexually assaulted," and "teacher viewing porn." Her browsing history included "what to do if you don't feel loved enough in your relationship", "top five signs your husband is demanding and controlling" and "fight for your marriage when your husband is emotionally distant from you".

Posted by Manya on June 15th, 2018
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June 28th:
Renea Lau Yuk-ling
died on June 28th, 2014

32yo Renea from Australia worked as pastry chef at Ganache Chocolates; she was passionate about making desserts and very good at it. Renea also sang at the Melbourne Chinese Baptist Church. "Her singing wasn't the best," her boyfriend said, "but she sang anyway because she loved to." The night before her death, Renea, her boyfriend and their friends practiced songs for their upcoming gig at an aged care home. Around 5.30am the next morning, on her way to work, Renea was violently attacked, raped, and strangled to death by a homeless man. He later explained that he "didn't even think about it" but "just exploded into this violent, violent rage"."Renea Lau had never met you, had never seen you," the judge said to the rapist. "You had never spoken to her. You had no relationship with her whatsoever, you merely passed her in the street and, as a result of that, she is now dead at your hands in a most brutal and sadistic manner."

Posted by Manya on June 27th, 2018
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Theodore Meyer
died on June 28th, 2014

Mr & Mrs Meyer from Oklahoma, USA, had been married for over 70 years and had three children, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. At the age of 91, both Mr and Mrs Meyer suffered from dementia, and were cared for by their 63yo son. On June 26th, 2014, the son returned home intoxicated, and beat Mr Meyer with his cane, causing multiple broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Mr Meyer died two days later. Mrs Meyer survived her husband by two months.

Posted by Manya on May 12th, 2017
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June 29th:
Linzi Ashton
died on June 29th, 2013

25yo Linzi from UK had two children and worked as a bar maid. "Everybody loved her," the father of Linzi's daughter said. "She was devoted to the kids, she was everyone's friend, she put everybody first and she was a one-off." Linzi was involved in an abusive relationship for the last nine months of her life; she filed two police reports against her boyfriend, one for rape and the other for physical assault. Linzi withdrew both complaints and the relationship continued, until her boyfriend beat her to death; she suffered 108 separate injuries during the attack.

Posted by Manya on May 13th, 2017
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June 30th:
Shafia Family
died on June 30th, 2009

Mohammad Shafia had two wives, Rona (on the photo) and Tooba, and seven children. The family went from Afghanistan to Pakistan, then to Australia, then to United Arab Emirates, and finally to Montreal, Canada. Rona felt trapped in an abusive marriage, and feared for her life. Tooba, the second wife, allegedly said to Rona, "You are a slave, you are a servant." She and their husband held on to Rona's IDs and passport, so Rona felt she couldn't flee from them. She was also worried about her legal status, because she came to Canada as a domestic servant, on a visitor's visa, and was introduced as an aunt, not a wife.

On June 30th, a car that belonged to the Shafia family was discovered submerged at the nearby canal, with four bodies found inside: Rona Amir Mohammad, and three teenage daughters of the family, 19yo Zainab, 17yo Sahar, and 13yo Geeti. Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and their 20yo son Hamed, were found guilty on four counts of first degree murder each. The remaining three children (a boy and two girls) were placed with social services, and a publication ban was placed on the case, to not disclose their names.

Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016
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