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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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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April 26th:
Natalia (Beta) Trirat
died on April 26th, 2017

11-month-old Beta from Thailand lived with her mom, dad, and 5yo brother. Her dad was worried that her mom didn't love him anymore and might leave him soon. He took Beta to an abandoned building, filmed himself murdering her, posted the video on Facebook, and then committed suicide.


Posted by Manya on June 1st, 2017
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Zyon Thompson
died on April 26th, 2015

3yo Zyon from Virginia, USA, was staying with his mom's friends the last three weeks of his life. They made Zyon eat crab seasoning which gave him diarrhea, and then punished him for soiling himself, using "military torture techniques" such as waterboarding, making him stand with his arms out and water bottles strapped to his wrists, making him hang from a cabinet door, etc. During waterboarding they told the 3yo that his mother didn't want him. There were three adults and multiple children in the house, and Zyon's health was quickly deteriorating, but nobody called for ambulance because they were afraid of getting in trouble. On April 26th Zyon died of dehydration. All three adults blamed each other, but were convicted and sentenced for 32, 27, and 22 years in prison.


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017
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Natalie Perriello
died on April 26th, 2012

42 Mrs Perriello from New Hampshire, USA, worked for fifteen years as an elementary school teacher, and then for four more years as a high school teacher. According to her friends and family, "Natalie had two passions in her life: her family and her students. She was passionate about making a difference in the lives of her students with students continuing to be in contact with her years after leaving her classroom. Natalie truly believed that all her students would be successful, not only in high school, but in their chosen paths after high school." Mrs Perriello was shot in the head six times by her husband because he suspected her of having an affair with her former student. Their four children were in the house at the time of the murder. "I know what's about to happen to me," he told the 911 operator. "The gun is jammed anyway... it's useless."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 27th:
Aidan Fenton
died on April 27th, 2015

6yo Aidan from Australia suffered from diabetes. His 41yo mom and 56yo dad took him to an alternative healer who was visiting from China and was offering his services for AU$1,800 at a hotel. The services involved slapping and stretching Aidan's body to drive out toxins. "The slapping and stretching work together to clear the meridians of blocks and help the body get rid of disease," explained the self-proclaimed healer. Aidan died that night; the healer left the country, and the parents were charged with manslaughter. "We are losing the battle," said John Dwyer, a University of NSW professor of medicine about this case. "It's terribly important that alternative medicine in Australia is underpinned by credible evidence and science."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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Ayman Udas
died on April 27th, 2009

Ayman Udas a recently married woman in her early 30's was allegedly shot dead by her own brothers in the conservative city of Peshawar in Pakistan after she had appeared on television. She had become a musician in the face of bitter opposition from her family, who believed it was sinful for a woman to perform on television.


Posted by Jane on August 19th, 2018
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April 28th:
William Horstman
died on April 28th, 2015

52yo Mr Horstman from Missouri, USA, worked various jobs as a Heavy Equipment Operator for 35 years. He enjoyed deer and turkey hunting, fishing, riding his Harley Davidson Road King, and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Mr Horstman was killed by his girlfriend; she ran him over with her SUV because he wouldn't move out of the way, and fled the scene. The autopsy showed he died of blunt force trauma to his head and chest, including 20 broken ribs and massive brain bleeding. It also showed that he had not been facing her SUV at the time he was struck, police said. The woman was sentenced to 19 years in prison.


Posted by Manya on January 18th, 2018
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Christopher Barnard
died on April 28th, 2008

Christopher was a 4yo boy from Oklahoma who lived with his mom and mom's boyfriend. Neighbors, friends, and relatives started calling DHS two weeks after Christopher was born. They alerted DHS about poor living conditions, marks and bruises on Christopher, and the fact that he was left unsupervised on the front lawn while mom drove away to do some chores. DHS investigated the reports but found no confirmed abuse or neglect.

On April 28th four-year-old Christopher soiled his pants. In response to this, his mom's boyfriend twice punched Christopher in the stomach, and whipped him with a belt. Christopher died of internal injuries.


Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2016
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April 29th:
Salma Parveen
died on April 29th, 2013

22yo Salma from UK was abused by her violent husband and feared for her life. She finally asked him to leave her family home, and he strangled her with a scarf. Salma's family said, "Her life has not only been taken away from her, our lifestyle, spark and bonding of the family has also gone with her. Salma was the person we could trust with our eyes closed, the person who was always there for us, the person who we all looked up to."

Salma's story was included in the BBC2 Documentary "Love You To Death" that features interviews with friends and relatives of 86 UK women killed by their romantic partners in 2013.


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016
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