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 14th:
Carly and Sawyer Simpson
died on May 14th, 2013

7yo Carly and 5yo Sawyer from South Carolina, USA, lived with their dad and mentally ill mom. She suffered from hallucinations and delusions, where she felt the world was out to harm her and her family; medication used to help. On May 13th she called her mother five times and asked bizarre questions, e.g. if her mother really wanted her, or if her grandmother was better off in heaven. A family friend saw her that day because he came by to borrow her husband's truck. "At that time I couldn't tell that there was anything wrong with her as far that I would say would be something that would cause danger," he said. "I could tell she was highly agitated, you know typical of husband and wife arguing type of scenario." Later that night he received a puzzling text message from her, which read "Hell on Earth?" He replied "huh?" but did not get a response. When her husband and kids went to bed, the woman unlocked her husbands gun and shot both of the kids in the head, in their beds, because she "didn't want them to live in this awful world," as she later explained. She then shot her husband and tried to crash her car. The husband survived, though suffered a traumatic brain injury, which left him paralyzed and with a bullet stuck in the back of his eye, that the doctors couldn't remove.


Posted by Manya on March 20th, 2017
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May 15th:
Morsal Obeidi
died on May 15th, 2008

16yo Afghan born Morsal lived in Hamburg, Germany with her family of five siblings. She went to high school and dressed as German girls her age: uncovered hair, makeup, and jeans. Her family felt she "dressed like a slut" and frequently beat her up for it, on one occasion knocking out her tooth. Morsal was a regular visitor at Child and Youth Services welfare center, and was offered housing away from her family, but kept returning back home against the advice of social workers; they described her family relationships as "highly ambivalent".

In May of 2007, Morsal's family sent her to Afghanistan for 9 months to be "re-educated" about religion and culture, and only allowed her to return to Germany after she promised "to be obedient". And in May of 2008, 16yo Morsal was stabbed and beaten to death at a parking lot by her 23yo brother. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. When the verdict was read out in court, he yelled that had the trial taken place in Afghanistan, he would have already been released long ago. Click on Morsal's name to read a very interesting article about her life and death.


Posted by Manya on March 20th, 2017
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May 16th:
Ruby Isabella Knox
died on May 16th, 2016

Ruby Isabella Knox, born on January 8, 1996, was severely intellectually disabled and diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder. She also suffered from a litany of health problems, including chronic constipation and haemorrhoids, incontinence, spina bifida, gastroesophageal reflux and hip pain. She couldn't talk, nor did she have any ability to empathise. The pair couldn't enjoy play dates or socialise with other families. Instead, they were all alone in their house. But none of that ever seemed to bother her mum. Their family GP said that in more than 150 consultations, he never saw Donella adversely react to Ruby's violent and sudden outbursts. Instead, all he saw was a mother who loved her daughter dearly; one who was fighting tooth and nail to get the best health care for her that she could. Donella Knox felt endlessly helpless, and hopeless, about Ruby's deteriorating health and suffering. She felt forgotten about and ignored by the health and care systems. She doted on her daughter. She gave her only child unadulterated love and care. In return, she was bitten, headbutted, scratched, tackled, and ignored by a big, strong girl. On May 16th, 2016 Donella drugged and suffocated Ruby.


Posted by Jane on July 4th, 2018
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Mahmoud Hrouk
died on May 16th, 2015

16yo Mahmoud from Australia aspired to own his own construction company and play professionally for the Bulldogs. He spent the day of May 16th working with his uncle, and had asked permission from his father to ride his bicycle to get dinner. At 6:22PM he was at a local fast food restaurant with someone he considered a friend. At 9:42PM Mahmoud spoke on the phone with his mom. "Where are you? Come home!" she said. "It's OK Mum, I'm with my friend... I've got my bike... I will come home," Mahmoud replied. His "friend" was a 24yo drug dealer with a violent criminal history who was released on bail on the condition that he reported to the local police station every day of the week and could not leave home unless in the company of his father. This man lured Mahmoud into a vacant property used by local youth as a hangout, raped him, and bashed him to death with a toaster.


Posted by Manya on June 25th, 2018
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Graziella Dailler
died on May 16th, 2014

48yo Mrs Dailler, originally from France, lived in Australia and worked as a beauty therapist. "She was like a sister to me. She was a very stoic person, she had a lot of dignity and pride. She took great pride in her own appearance and she loved making other women feel good about who they were," her boss said. Mrs Dailler had three adult children and an abusive boyfriend, and both she and her children have been in contact with the police about the situation.

On May 16th, 2014, Mrs Dailler's daughters came to check on her because she missed her daughter's birthday and didn't show up to work. They discovered the bodies of their mother and her boyfriend, who killed her and then himself.

"Anyone who is experiencing domestic violence, please seek what help is out there and get yourself out of the situation before your family is grieving like ours is." ~ Mrs Dailler's children


Posted by Manya on July 8th, 2016
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May 17th:
Khyra Ishaq
died on May 17th, 2008

Khyra was a 7yo girl from Birmingham, UK, who was beaten and starved to death by her mom and stepfather. Two other children in the household were also abused in the same way, but survived. The family has been causing concern for years prior to Khyra's death. Children were emaciated and, until they were taken out of school, were constantly begging for food, searching for it, or stealing it from other children. Neighbors believe they saw Khyra eating out of a bird feeder. One of the children recalls, "Khyra stole bread from the kitchen or something from the cooker. Junaid (the stepfather) told her 'you've won a prize, you've got a nice treat'. He gave her a jar of chocolate and told her to eat it all. It made her feel really ill and it made her vomit."

There was plenty of food in the house. The court ruling said the following about the mother: "Food was an issue for her and she seemed unable to understand that whilst it may well have been appropriate for her to lose weight, it was certainly not appropriate for these growing children to do the same." The stepfather was punished by being deprived of meals as a child, and said his father beat his 3yo sister to death for failing to flush the toilet. The court ruling also mentioned his "strong belief" in evil spirits. Detective inspector who investigated Khyra's death, said the following:

"The defendants created a situation in which the children, who were being educated at home, had been kept away from their extended family, friends and the outside world. They were also prevented from doing the things that an ordinary child does. Khyra's untimely death was ultimately caused by an overwhelming infection brought on by severe malnutrition – a cause of death you don't expect to see in the western world, let alone Birmingham, in the 21st century."


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016
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May 18th:
Anthony Tirrell Murray
died on May 18th, 2014

30yo Anthony from Georgia, USA, was stabbed to death by his girlfriend during an argument. She said the knife "just seemed to puncture his chest." A medical examiner, however, testified the blade cracked a rib and punctured Murray's lung, aorta and pulmonary artery. The woman was acquitted of murder, but found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Sergeant Joe Harris with Columbus Police testified at the trial, stating that domestic violence has a tendency to be highly under-reported, especially by male victims. The woman who killed Anthony had prior reports of domestic violence on other boyfriends, including one in which she was alleged to have beaten a man with a crowbar. Anthony had two children. She had four.


Posted by Manya on March 20th, 2017
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May 19th:
Enna Isabel Barreto
died on May 19th, 2008

Mr and Mrs Barreto from Mississippi, USA, started adopting children from Guatemala in 2005. By 2008 they had a total of eight, most under the age of three, including 2yo Enna Isabel. The young children were kept in a separate mobile home, and locked at night. The children were fed cereal and bologna sandwiches, rarely bathed, forced to drink hot sauce as punishment and spent hours tied up with duct tape after they "were cutting up." One of the children was frequently locked overnight in a cage inside a closet. Another child was waterboarded on multiple occasions. The dwelling was littered with garbage, food, soiled diapers, dog feces, dirty laundry and spent needles Mrs Barreto used to administer diabetes medication; there was also a puppy mill in the backyard. Marainna, teen daughter of Mrs Barreto, had to drop out of high school in order to care for the children. According to her, adoption inspectors "just stayed in the living room or the dining room, dining room or the den, so nobody has ever, none of them has ever really been to the back trailer."

Enna died of physical abuse and neglect. 17yo Marainna served 5 years in prison. Mr and Mrs Barreto were on the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list for failure to appear on original charges of child neglect, child abuse, tampering with a witness, and manslaughter in the death of Enna and the abuse of six other children. They were on the run for six years, but eventually were caught. Mrs Barreto pleaded guilty and died in prison.


Posted by Manya on March 20th, 2017
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May 20th:
Obaida Sedqi
died on May 20th, 2016

8yo Obaida lived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with his mom, dad, and two younger sisters. The family was originally from Jordan. Obaida attended the second grade, and was a smart kid, according to friends and relatives; he would always give directions to taxi drivers while returning home with his mother from mall visits. The family lived on the fourth floor, above Obaida's dad car repair shop. In the beginning of May, a new customer, also Jordanian, came to the shop to have his car repaired. "We don't know him," said Obaida's mom. "I did not feel comfortable about this man from the beginning." The man was friendly with Obaida, who spent a lot of time in his dad's shop, allowed the boy to watch cartoons in his car sometimes, and offered to buy him a scooter. In the afternoon of May 31st Obaida left the house to join his father in the workshop. He went down the stairs, but never arrived to the workshop. The parents only realized he was missing at 9:30PM, when the father closed the workshop and returned home. Obaida was kidnapped by that customer, who sexually assaulted him and then strangled him with a red ghutrah (traditional Arab headdress) when the boy tried to resist. Obaida's body was found two days later, 14 miles away. The man tried to use the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder and alcoholism for insanity plea, but was sentenced to death and executed.


Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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Heaven Woods
died on May 20th, 2014

Heaven was a 5yo girl from Georgia, who lived with her abusive mom. Her dad petitioned for primary custody of Heaven back in 2012, when she was 3yo, telling the court that visitation with her mom should be limited because of violence towards the child. Mom responded that he was the violent one. He continued his battle for custody, petitioning the court again in 2013 and in January of 2014. On May 20th, 2014, Heaven was beat to death by her mom and mom's boyfriend, for soiling her pants, which she couldn't help due to her injuries. Cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the abdomen and extreme blood loss that had accumulated in the child's stomach.Autopsy revealed Heaven suffered long-term physical abuse before she died.

"I cannot express what you took from me. I will never understand why you did this to my Heaven, an innocent child who could not defend herself. She was playful, she was loving, she was understanding," said Heaven's dad in court.


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016
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May 21st:
Levai Bonnar
died on May 21st, 2013

Levai was a 7yo boy from Australia who was abused and killed by his mom and her boyfriend. The man was a Christian hip-hop music producer, referred to himself as being "the General of the Army of the Helpers" and said the army "carried out the will of God". He physically and sexually abused Levai and his siblings under the guise of "punishment" in accordance with a "bizarre" discipline regime inspired by religion and a movie about Spartan soldiers called 300. Levai's mother sometimes participated, and sometimes recorded the abuse on her phone. Levai died of fractured skull and bleeding to his brain, and post-mortem found dozens of bruises, abrasions, scars, and fractures on his body.


Posted by Manya on May 20th, 2016
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Sabia Rani
died on May 21st, 2006

Sabia was a Pakistani girl beaten to death by her husband. It was an arranged marriage; after the marriage certificate was signed, Sabia stayed in Pakistan for three more years while her husband and his family lived in UK. When Sabia was 19, she came to UK to stay with them. She didn't speak a word of English, didn't know anyone in the country, and never went outside alone. Her husband didn't like how she made his lunch, that she struggled figuring out how to apply makeup, and that she didn't know how to buy groceries. Five months after her move to UK Sabia was dead.

There were four adults in the household aside from Sabia and her husband. He was beating her for at least three weeks. 90% of her body was covered in bruises. She had 15 bone fractures. The family said they saw no injuries on her body, didn't realize she was in pain, and that she must have been killed by "evil spirits".


Posted by Manya on February 19th, 2016
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May 22nd:
Teneya Little
died on May 22nd, 2016

40yo Mrs Little, from Wisconsin, USA, was a nurse at the Milwaukee Area Technical College and mother of two teenagers. Her boyfriend was on parole for drug related charges, and had an arrest warrant for battery. "She was just looking scared," her sister said, "like she was scared, like, 'I'm just tired,' and when I seen her I was like, 'He's going to kill you,' and she just looked at me. (...) I think she always attracted people that needed help. That's what it was. She felt like he was good - that he just needed someone there for him or to love him." When Mrs Little pressed charges against him for domestic violence, he tried to convince her to drop the charges. They had an argument, and she died of a gunshot wound to the head. Her children were at home at the time and unharmed. The man told them, "I just blew your mama's brains out. I forgot it was loaded. I shouldn't have put the bullets in."


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017
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May 23rd:
Jose Castillo-Cisneros
died on May 23rd, 2016

3yo Jose, known among family as Pepe, had developmental delays and often communicated by screaming and yelling. His mom tried to discipline him by spanking, and he responded by smiling and laughing. In March of 2016 she enrolled Pepe in an early childhood special education program, and that seemed to work better. "He was doing so well," his aunt said. "He was learning how to talk and this was his second week at his special school. Today was the first day he didn't cry when the bus picked him up and he got home very happy after school." Mom's 41yo boyfriend, on the other hand, didn't like Pepe. For example, in one message to his brother he wrote "We ended up bad cause of punk ass Pepe. Lil (expletive) ass always yelling wanting everything so I yelled at him and told him to shut the (expletive) up lol. He started crying hella bad too. Like someone killing him." The man had intermittent explosive disorder, history of violence and substance abuse, and used to torture and kill cats as a child. Aside from this man and mom, Pepe had a 9yo sister, and in April his mom gave birth to a third child.

On May 23rd Pepe and his sister were watching a movie, while their mom was doing the dishes downstairs and her boyfriend was in his room. Pepe started crying, and the man beat Pepe, broke a wall with his head, and stabbed him with a knife. Pepe's mom tried to protect him by holding the newborn baby in front of him, so that her boyfriend wouldn't want to accidentally injure his own son, but that didn't help. "You're killing him," she said, and he responded "I know," and "let the dog die". When she told him he would go to jail, he responded "I know, and I don't care." In the end Pepe's 9yo sister called the police, who forced entry into the apartment and found Pepe with a broken skull, in a pool of blood, and his mom injured. "He was only 3 years old," his aunt said. "He did not deserve to die like this."


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2018
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