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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Copy-paste the code below to your site to display a name and a photo of someone who died through abuse on today's date; you can click on the photo to read their story. The widget is transparent, uses no javascript, and can be resized to fit your layout; proportions are 3:5.

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April 16th:
Kelly-Anne Bates
died on April 16th, 1996

14yo Kelly Ann from UK was babysitting for friends when she first met her future murderer (44yo at the time). They were secretly dating, and two years later moved in together. "As soon as I saw (him) the hairs on the back of my neck went up," said her mom. "I tried everything I could to get Kelly Anne away from him." Over the next year the parents started noticing bruising on their daughter (which she explained as accidents); she quit her part-time job, became socially withdrawn. Kelly Ann's body was found on April 16th. What he did to her is too graphic to describe here (you can read the details if you click on her name above). The pathologist who examined her body said, "In my career, I have examined almost 600 victims of homicide but I have never come across injuries so extensive." The prosecutor said, "It was as if he deliberately disfigured her, causing her the utmost pain, distress and degradation ... The injuries were not the result of one sudden eruption of violence, they must have been caused over a long period (and) were so extensive and so terrible that the defendant must have deliberately and systematically tortured the girl ... Her death must have been a merciful end to her torment."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 17th:
Ronald Oliver
died on April 17th, 2013

75yo Mr Oliver from Missouri, USA, was an army veteran, commercial truck driver, father of four, and a grandfather and great-grandfather of a few dozen. He enjoyed listening to gospel, country, jazz and rhythm and blues. According to his family, "Ronnie did what he could sharing his love with all that were under his roof, in his neighborhood and especially throughout his family. He was a community assistant to anyone who needed care." Mr Oliver's 80yo wife of 38 years broke his skull with a baseball bat because he "began talking smart to her."


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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Madhu Yadav
died on April 17th, 2012

One phone call could have saved 29-year-old Madhu Yadav's life. That call was never made. On Monday night, the marketing professional was murdered by her in-laws. Hours before, Madhu had tried calling her sister Mamta poor phone reception defeated that effort. Madhu then called up my father in Delhi," said Mamta. According to Madhu's family members, she was weeping incessantly over the phone and appeared to be in a terrible state of mind. Her father advised her to remain in the house of her in-laws, till they came to pick her up. Next morning, the family received a call stating that Madhu had committed suicide. "Sameep (the victim's husband) phoned me and asked to come to Mumbai. As I listened, I asked only one question to him: ‘Have you killed my Madhu?" said CH Yadav, the deceased's father. When her relatives saw Madhu's body, they found certain marks on her neck. Medical reports finally confirmed she was murdered.


Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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April 18th:
Keith Clayton
died on April 18th, 2014

55yo Keith Clayton from Texas, USA, worked as a truck driver and enjoyed roller skating. He had four children and a grandson, but was staying with his elderly parents because he was suffering from schizophrenia. Mr Clayton's family became concerned for his wellbeing when he started talking of suicide. They felt unable to care for him, and sent him to an inpatient facility. Three days later Mr Clayton was restrained by two hospital employees, and died of spleen laceration caused by blunt force trauma. After much consideration the police ruled his death accidental; Mr Clayton's family was told he died during a scuffle with another patient. However, Adult Protective Services found it to be physical abuse; one of the hospital employees was fired; the other received a warning letter, explaining to them the proper use of restraints.


Posted by Manya on June 8th, 2017
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Candace Newmaker
died on April 18th, 2000

Candace was 10 when she was killed by her therapist and adoptive mom. She was adopted at 7 (bio parents lost parental rights due to neglect), and within months her adoptive mom started taking her to psychiatrists, complaining of her behavior and attitude at home. Finally in April 2000 she took Candace to another state for a two-week "intensive" session of attachment therapy.

During the 70min therapy session 10yo girl was wrapped in a flannel sheet and told to free herself, while four adults held her down with their hands, feet, and pillows. This was called "rebirthing" and was expected to help Candace "attach" to her adoptive mother.

For the first forty minutes Candace begged to be released, screamed, pleaded, and said several times that she could not breathe and was dying, to which the therapist responded, "You want to die? OK, then die. Go ahead, die right now".

Candace died of asphyxia.


Posted by Manya on November 8th, 2009
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April 19th:
Ritu Uppal
died on April 19th, 2015

29yo Jet Airways hostes Ritu from India was watching a sitcom on TV when her drunk husband returned home with a friend and some takeout food. He wanted Ritu to serve the food and switch the channel because he wanted to watch a cricket match. Ritu refused and, during the argument, spat on her husband's face and slapped him. He started beating her up and told his friend to leave the house and not interfere in their personal matter. "As she continued to abuse my family members, I lost cool and pressed a pillow on her face to make her quiet," the husband explained. "However, a little later I realised that she was not moving and had become unconscious. I immediately called her father and after his arrival, took her to a hospital, where she was declared brought dead."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017
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April 20th:
Chantille Truss
died on April 20th, 2018

Chantille Truss of Kansas City a 45-year-old woman was shot and killed by her husband on 20th April 2018 while at her place of work. Her killer fled the scene before committing suicide. Friends and co-worker were not aware of any problems within Chantile and her husband's relationship – rather describe them as appearing to be the "perfect couple".


Posted by Jane on June 29th, 2018
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April 21st:
Aaliyah Lewis
died on April 21st, 2016

2yo Aaliyah from Florida, USA, died hours after her mom's boyfriend "gave her a whooping" because she had an accident on his bed. "Why? Why would you beat her like that?" Aaliyah's mom said. "She was my only child. She was my everything and I lost her...The only thing she kept (saying) ... 'Mah!' I said 'Liyah!'... 'Mah!'... She was in pain. And I couldn't do nothing about it. I tried, I tried. And she took her last breath in my arms."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017
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April 22nd:
Gabriel McFarland
died on April 22nd, 2014

Gabriel from Iowa was adopted at birth. His biological mom was 16 and his biological dad was 17. The adoptive parents, Heidi and Rachel McFarland, paid the teen's medical bills and legal fees, and even coached her through labor. Gabriel was born on December 28th, and the McFarlands took him home from the hospital. In most places, adoptive parents are granted custody 72 hours after the baby is born. In Iowa, birth parents have 96 hours to change their minds. Gabriel lived with McFarlands until March 13th, when his birth mom demanded him back. She was able to get him back because McFarlands' lawyer didn't file paperwork terminating her parental rights, which is the first step in any adoption. It was a clerical error, and McFarlands were scheduled to regain custody of Gabriel on March 24th. However, on March 23rd Gabriel was murdered by his biological dad while his biological mom was out of the house.


Posted by Manya on March 12th, 2017
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April 23rd:
Melissa Ball and Grayden Lee Whitmore
died on April 23rd, 2015

27yo Melissa and her 8yo son Grayden from Georgia, USA, were shot and killed at a local convenience center by Melissa's boyfriend of 12 years, Grayden's father, who then killed himself. Their relationship was abusive, but they separated a few months prior, and Melissa was staying with her grandmother. "He threatened to kill her a lot," said Melissa's sister. "He had told her so many times, she didn't take it seriously. She knew that he was crazy, but I don't think that she ever believed he would really hurt Grayden ... I expected him to kill himself, and I even thought and mentioned it to other people that he wasn't stable and would kill them all. I told my mom a couple of weeks ago that this was going to happen, but I couldn't make (Melissa) get out of that situation."

Katora Printup, executive director of the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center, "We are not to judge those in these kinds of relationships, but let them know there is help. A lot of time, they are afraid to report and we want them to know that all of our services are free and confidential. The community must try to take a stand to create violence-free homes and educating and letting them know they are not alone."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 24th:
Christa Ann Alexander
died on April 24th, 2005

24yo Christa Ann from Louisiana, USA and her unborn child were killed by Christa's husband of four months. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, obstruction of justice, and first-degree feticide for the unborn baby - but never explained why did he do it. "She was a doll, I suppose you would say," said Christa's father. "She already did a total of 17 mission trips. I told someone last night that she probably did 70 years of work in 24 years."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 25th:
Surjit Athwal
died on April 25th, 2007

Surjit was a Sikh woman from UK who wanted to live a more western lifestyle. Her husband was physically abusive, and she didn't like it. She also wanted to wear western clothes and go out with her friends sometimes, and she didn't get along with her mother-in-law, who wanted Surjit's kids to call her "mum", instead of Surjit. She left her husband once, and wanted a divorce, but he beat her up, threatened to kill her, and she agreed to move back together again. In 1997 Surjit became pregnant, and her husband thought it wasn't his, that she was cheating. In 1998 the mother-in-law said, "I've spoken to a contact in India. It's all going to be taken care of. It's her own fault - she's out of control. She's bringing shame on the family. We have to get rid of her." She convinced Surjit to go with her on a trip to India, where Surjit was drugged and murdered. Her body was never found and the date of death is unknown, but the mother-in-law and the husband were convicted of murder on April 25th, 2007, almost ten years later.

If you click on Surjit's name, you can read a page written by her sister-in-law, who testified against her mother-in-law, was (and still is) threatened and ostracized by her community for bringing shame on the family, and who was fearing for her own life during these 10 years of investigation.


Posted by Manya on February 19th, 2016
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Crown Shakur
died on April 25th, 2004

Crown Shakur was a 6-week-old baby from Georgia, USA, who died of starvation. His parents said they loved him and didn't mean to harm him. Crown was their first child, and they fed him soy milk and apple juice because breastfeeding was against their vegan beliefs. There's no problem with veganism, but babies should not be given juice for the first six months of their life, and soy milk doesn't have all the nutrients necessary for them. Parents who choose to raise their kids vegan can buy soy milk-based formula instead, which has protein, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. First-time parents who are unsure how to feed their baby can ask their pediatrician, or doctors or nurses at the hospital they delivered. When the police were investigating Crown's death, they found his bottle, which was rancid and caked with debris.

The prosecutor said "No matter how many times they want to say, 'We're vegans, we're vegetarians,' that's not the issue in this case ... The child died because he was not fed. Period."


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016
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