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 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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October 11th:
Shahena Uddin
died on October 11th, 2014

A vulnerable teenager who was killed by her own sister-in-law after years of abuse from her family wrote heartbreaking letters to her murderer begging for help and blaming herself for her treatment. Shahena Uddin, 19, was forced to lick the toilet seat and eat her own waste after being punished for 'offences' such as eating at the wrong speed. She was found dead in the bathroom of her home in Watford after being brutally beaten with fists and weapons - making a noise so loud that neighbours thought her family was 'tenderising meat'. In one letter, she drew a heart captioned 'before' and a broken heart with the word 'after', along with a string of self-hating messages. The teenager, spelling her name 'Shina', wrote: 'Shina is bad and does not deserve to live in this bad world. 'Shina RUINED everyone's life and happiness. I don't know how this all happened in a few hours. RUINED EVERYTHING. RUINED EVERYONE'S HAPPINESS. UPSET EVERYONE. WHY?' In another, addressing her sister-in-law Salma Begum as 'Afa', Shahena wrote: 'It hurts when you call me a cow and a rat-dog. I am suffering. I have no one to tell so please can you help me. Afa I will put my head in the toilet for you just to forgive me. Please Afa I really need you.'

Posted by Jane on June 29th, 2018
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Kelsey Smith-Briggs
died on October 11th, 2005

Kelsey was a 2yo girl from Oklahoma whose parents were divorced, and each accused the other of abusing Kelsey. The first report was filed in January, and she was moved by CPS four times in six months, from one side of the family to the other, till the judge said it's unknown who's abusing her and moved her back to her mom's home. The case was monitored by CPS, yet during this year Kelsey had a broken collarbone, two broken legs, damage to her pancreas, multiple bruises and marks, and she was hurt in a car accident and sexually abused. On October 11th Kelsey was in the care of her mom's boyfriend, and died of blunt force trauma to her abdomen.

Posted by Manya on February 14th, 2016
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October 12th:
Ryan Poston
died on October 12th, 2012

29yo Ryan was a young lawyer from Ohio, USA, who dated a Psychology student. He wanted to end the relationship and asked his dad for advice, saying "I don't know what to do to get her to leave." "I told him to make sure that he was kind to [her] and to be honest with her about what was going on," Ryan's dad said. "I told him to be direct, but to be kind." Ryan was killed the next night. The girlfriend claimed self-defense and battered wife syndrome, but the judge and the jury didn't buy it; she shot him six times in the face, laughed about it, and expressed no remorse. Her cellmate said she used the battered wife syndrome defense because she said she was too intelligent to plead insanity.

Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016
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Amanda Todd
died on October 12th, 2012

Amanda was a 15yo girl from British Columbia (Canada) who committed suicide because she was bullied. When she was 12, a stranger online (33yo man was later arrested in Netherlands) started asking her to bare her breasts on webcam. She resisted for a year, and then did it. He then threatened to send the pic to her school friends unless she gives him a webcam "show". When she just turned 13, police told her the pic was circulating internet. For the next two years Amanda was bullied both online and in school, the family moved to a new home, Amanda changed two schools, but the story followed her. She started drinking and cutting, attempted suicide twice, was hospitalized and received counseling - but that made the bullying worse, now kids called her "psycho". On October 12th, Amanda attempted suicide for the third time, and died.

A month before her death, Amanda posted a video on Youtube titled My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm; she wrote "I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I'm not doing this for attention. I'm doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I'd rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don't hate, although im sure I'll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I'm still here aren't I ?"

Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016
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Fred McClure
died on October 12th, 2010

59yo Mr McClure from Pennsylvania, USA, worked as a maintenance supervisor and had four children and five grandchildren. He was killed by his girlfriend who shot him 8 times and told the police she mistook him for an intruder. It was daylight, neighbors saw them coming home together a few hours earlier, and some of the shots were fired while she was standing over him as he was laying on the floor. The woman was convicted of murder and sentenced to life.

Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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October 13th:
Brendan Creato
died on October 13th, 2015

In October 2015, Brendan's father called 911 stating his son had wandered away from his home in Camden County. His body was discovered later that day in an area of woodland around a mile from his home. A medical examiner stated the boy died from "homicidal violence" but was not able to determine the exact cause. Prosecutors said his father killed Brendan, because his 17-year-old girlfriend did not want to be around his child and wanted his father to give up custody.

Posted by Jane on July 21st, 2018
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Sean McIlmail
died on October 13th, 2013

Sean was a 26yo man from Pennsylvania, USA, who was abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager. He kept it secret and escaped into drugs, until more victims started to come forward but the police couldn't press charges because statutes of limitations have ran out. Sean came forward and reported his story to protect children (particularly his nephews) from being abused by the same priest that abused Sean. He was clean and sober for 6 month (the lawyer wouldn't take the case otherwise), and was preparing to testify, but days before that he died of heroin overdose. "The drug piece is unbelievably common," says David Clohessy, national director of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests). "The indirect disclosures are surprisingly common. The law enforcement involvement is painfully rare."

"I'm not mad at [the priest who raped Sean], because I think he's sick," said Sean's mother. "I'm angry at the church for letting him serve so long and covering it up." She also said of the Pope Francis' upcoming visit, "He's coming to Philadelphia, which is so bad with priest abuse. He's seeing the poor, the immigrants, the prisoners, all of which wasn't the church's fault. But it is the church's fault that we have this segment of the population that's drug-addicted and has all these mental health problems."

Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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October 14th:
Yolanda And Theo Molemohi
died on October 14th, 2009

Mom and dad of 2yo Theo and 4yo Yolanda from Manchester, UK, had been separated for about a year due to domestic violence. Mom was staying at a hotel, but returned daily to get Yolande ready to school and to babysit Theo while her ex-husband was at work. On the morning of October 14th nobody opened the door for her, so she let herself in through the window, and found both children strangled with internet cables, her ex husband unconscious, suicide notes around the house, and a video tape titled "The End" left in a prominent place, for her to see. On it were Theo and Yolanda, waiving to the camera and saying "Goodbye mummy". A note was attached to the computer screen, saying "use the internet as much as you like," referencing the fact that she was using dating websites (which she didn't hide). The ex-husband recovered from his suicide attempt and was jailed for 28 years. "You have shown not an ounce of remorse in this court," said the judge. "Your pity has been exclusively reserved for yourself."

Their mom said, "I am their mother, I brought them into the world with the unspoken promise that I would always protect them and at the time they needed that the most I could not be there. (...) I take pride in knowing that they were polite, caring, happy babies. I will always remain proud to be their mother. Their lives were short but they lived it to their full potential. I love them very much and they will always be a beautiful part of me."

Posted by Manya on October 14th, 2017
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October 15th:
Andrew Joseph Wagner
died on October 15th, 2012

3-month-old Andrew from Michigan, USA, was killed by his father. Andrew wouldn't stop crying, and the man punched him in the head, causing Andrew's death. He was arrested after a 3-hour standoff with the police, but eventually pleaded guilty to murder. "This is a good resolution for all parties involved," said his lawyer. "He accepted responsibility and there was no history of abuse to the child."

Posted by Manya on June 17th, 2018
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October 16th:
Maria Ladenburger
died on October 16th, 2016

19yo Maria, medical student from Germany, was riding her bike at 2:40AM on October 16th, returning home from a party hosted by her university medical faculty. She was raped, choked, and drowned in a river. The rapist had entered Germany a year prior as a refugee, claiming to be an underage minor from Afghanistan, and was granted asylum and placed with a foster family. However, it turned out that in reality he was a 25yo man from Iran, who had a prior record of rape (in Iran) and robbery and attempted murder (in Greece). This created discussion about possible failures in European systems to exchange information about refugees, migrants, and any criminal records they have.

Posted by Manya on June 25th, 2018
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Mark Mellor
died on October 16th, 2016

Mark Mellor, 31, was stabbed in the chest during a struggle involving a hunting knife while the couple was camping. He died later at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal. Sarah Mellor, 30, drove him to the hospital with other family members and was later questioned and then arrested.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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