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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August 5th:
Chaitanya Balpande
died on August 5th, 2015

13yo Chaitanya from Pune, India, was born disabled. His parents loved him very much, he enjoyed bird watching and playing cricket with them. Things went downhill when he was around ten; parents split up, and mom didn't let his dad and paternal grandma to see him anymore. Three years later Chaitanya's mom beat him to death with a cricket bat.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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Mason Rhinehart
died on August 5th, 2014

6yo Mason from Florida, USA, lived with his mom, dad, and 8yo brother Aden. "They were two peas in a pod, they were best friends, they were inseparable," his godmother said. "When you saw Mason, you saw Aden." Mason was on the honor roll in school, loved swimming and playing Minecraft with his brother, started weightlifting with his dad, and played for a youth football team.

The boys' parents worked full time, and grandma babysat the kids twice a week. One Tuesday, two days before Mason's 7th birthday, the parents were at work, the boys were playing computer games, and grandma told them she had a surprise for them. She took Mason to the bathroom, locked the door, and stabbed him to death. 8yo Aden heard his brother cry and say, "I don't want to die, please don't kill me." Aden tried to get into the bathroom but couldnt, so he called his dad and hid. He wasn't physically injured, but, before leaving the house, grandma told him she had a surprise for him too.

The grandma eventually pled no contest to murder charges, explained that she did it because she was "fed up" with her daughter-in-law, and was sentenced to life without parole. "I feel really sorry for him because not only did he lose a son, he lost a mother," Mason's godmother said about his dad. "He says he's done with her and never wants to see her again."

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 6th:
Karen Passmore
died on August 6th, 2015

Karen Passmore was left disabled after suffering a stroke while giving birth to her daughter, Jackie. Her husband took care of her from 1993 until his death in 2014. Her care then passed to daughter Jackie. According to a medical examiner's report, Karen Passmore weighed just 58 pounds and died from a combination of acute pneumonia and cardiovascular disease. It appeared the contributing factor to her death was adult neglect by her caretaker. Jackie Passmore was charged with homicide and negligent manslaughter of her disabled mother.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 7th:
Myles Hill
died on August 7th, 2017

3yo Myles from Florida, USA, loved to cuddle with his grandmother and showing his great aunt how to play a race-car game on his tablet. "He was always doing something," she said. "He was a very happy little boy." Myles was left in a parked van for nearly 12 hours because his day-care worker forgot to do a headcount before dropping the kids off for the day at 9AM. According to meteorologists, the high temperature that day was 93, and it would have only taken an hour for the inside the van to reach temperatures topping 140 degrees. Myles' body was found in the van at about 8:30PM, when his grandmother couldn't reach the daycare by phone and went there in person.

"If you leave your child with someone, that person has the responsibility of taking care of them," said his great aunt. "He had to lose his life because of someone's neglect. It's not right. It's not right at all. If you have six kids get in the van, you make sure six kids get out of the van."

Posted by Manya on October 16th, 2017
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Jenise Wright
died on August 7th, 2014

6yo Jenise from Washington state, USA, loved playing at the park with her friends and family, baking pies with her Grandma, taking pictures with her ipad and going out for ice-cream cones. She was raped and murdered, and the police arrested a 17yo neighbor, friend of Jenise's older siblings, who used to hang out in the house and whom Jenise's dad taught how to chop firewood for extra income. "It's devastating. It almost would have been easier if it was a stranger," the father said.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 8th:
Donita Elliott
died on August 8th, 2017

Donita Elliott was shot and killed by her husband Patrick Elliott. Authorities say he recorded audio of the shooting on a cellphone. The recording includes the couple talking. the shot striking Donita Elliott and her pleas for help. “But he refuses and indicates he will help her after he watches her die,” according to the affidavit. Police were called to the couple’s Lafayette home on Aug. 7 during a domestic fight. Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard confirmed that officers stayed at the residence for an hour, at which point Donita Elliott left the house and officers believed the situation had stabilized. Donita Elliott returned to the home about five hours later. Patrick Elliott called authorities early Aug. 8 to report that he’d shot her in self-defense. Patrick Elliott said in a letter to his church Sunday that Donita Elliott suffered from bipolar disorder and that she tried to attack him with a knife. Court documents show Patrick Elliott told authorities he planted the knife in the room.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 9th:
Monica Butler Johnson
died on August 9th, 2015

Monica Johnson, claimed in a June 24 request for the protective order that her husband had been following her in the days prior, including at a birthday party she had taken her other son, who is 8, where she spotted David Johnson hiding behind a fence. He had also been seen at Wal-Mart in Prairieville and had even been seen peeping into her house and hiding in the attic. Monica claimed her husband had become obsessive, even secretly recording her at times. “My sons and I are not comfortable in our home,” she wrote in the request for the protective order. David Johnson had been arrested Dec. 31 on a count of domestic abuse strangulation, a felony, after the couple got into a fight at their house over her cellphone.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 10th:
Moko Rangitoheriri
died on August 10th, 2015

Moko Sayviah Rangitoheriri died on August 10 last year from injuries he received during prolonged abuse and torture. His case shocked, saddened and angered New Zealanders and led to marches in his name against child abuse. He had bite marks on his face, his tummy was protruding unnaturally and he was covered from head to toe in bruises and abrasions.A post-mortem examination was carried out and established that the Tokoroa toddler died as a result of "multiple blunt force traumas". There was evidence the toddler had been smothered. Tania Shailer, 26, and David William Haerewa, 43, plead guilty to manslaughter and ill treating a child. Moko had been left in their care while his mother was dealing with the serous illness of another of her children

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 11th:
Leah Cohen
died on August 11th, 2017

The family of a mother and daughter who were stabbed to death at their home have described the shock and devastation caused by the tragedy. The bodies of Leah Cohen, 66, and Hannah Cohen, 33, were discovered by police in Golders Green, north-west London, last Friday night. Joshua Cohen — Leah’s son and Hannah’s brother — faces two charges of murder and will go on trial at the Old Bailey in February. In a statement, family members said they were “shocked and devastated” and were “struggling to come to terms with the tragedy”. But they had been comforted by the messages of support from friends and members of the community, the statement said.

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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August 12th:
Viola Herms Drath
died on August 12th, 2011

Mrs Drath was born in 1920 in Germany, and moved to USA after the WWII. She had a strong influence on German-American relations for over thirty years, and was active in various ways: as a journalist, a playwright, an editor, a foreign policy adviser, author of university textbooks, and a member of diplomatic missions to various countries.

When Mrs Drath was 70yo, she married a much younger intern from Germany, who soon became physically abusive. They were together for 21 year, until her murdered her. Mrs Drath wrote a memoir titled "A Thoroughly Muddled Marriage: Report of an Inmate" which hasn't been published.

Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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August 13th:
David Edwards
died on August 13th, 2015

Mr Edwards, 51yo lawyer from UK, had the misfortune of falling in love with an abusive woman. Mr Edwards told his friends that she hit "rather hard" and could "knock him out with one punch," but he covered up his injuries and didn't complain to the police. She stabbed him to death during a domestic dispute, less than two months after their wedding. Here's what Mr Edwards' work acquaintance wrote about him: "Over the years we have come to know David well. He was a very engaging person with a wry grin. He was always proud of his reputation and integrity as an officer of the court. His tragic death has affected every member of the Chorley bench, and I am sure the wider legal fraternity, very deeply. David was held in extremely high regard by every member of the Chorley bench."

The Mrs Edwards was sentenced to life in prison. Here's what the prosecutor said after the trial: "This domestic abuse was one of violence by a woman against a man. It had all the dreadful hallmarks of this type of offending. Sharon Edwards behaved in a domineering and possessive way with her husband. She seemed to resent any of his past or even present friends, family and colleagues. She behaved as though she expected him to devote his entire attention and time to her and made an overbearing nuisance of herself at his work. She had been violent to Mr Edwards early on in the relationship but it escalated as time went on. There is no evidence that he ever retaliated physically to her assaults. He submitted to his wife's demands to cover up her behaviour and continued to say that he loved her. Her final claims that he had walked into the knife which killed him have clearly been rejected by the jury. Domestic abuse can come in all sorts of guises and this case is another in the sad catalogue of violent repressive relationships that seem to rob the victim of their power or ability to stop the violence."

Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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August 14th:
Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay
died on August 14th, 2011

Toddler Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay were found dead on Saturday alongside her father Mounrad Samaan who shot her before turning the gun on himself. Samaan sparked a week-long manhunt when ran away with Madeline after receiving notification that the girl's mother, Marcia Ann Fay, 46, had been awarded full custody of their daughter, ending a joint custody arrangement.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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Dorothy Hoogstraten
died on August 14th, 1980

Dorothy Hoogstraten, from Vancouver, was a shy, naive 17-year-old girl working at a Dairy Queen when she met a local 26-year-old club promoter and pimp. He pursued her and eventually persuaded her to date him. After a time, he convinced her to do professional nude photographs, when he then sent to Playboy magazine. Her photos were interesting to the publishers, and she and her then boyfriend moved to Los Angeles, where she soon married her boyfriend against the advice of those around her. Dorothy, who then went by the stage name of Dorothy Stratten, became successful not only in modeling, but acting as well, leading to jealousy from her husband. She and her husband began to grow apart, so the two started living separately. Dorothy filed for a divorce after he tried to control more and more of her choices, professionally and personally. One morning, her husband said she needed to come to his house to sort out some divorce paperwork. When she arrived, he attacked and raped her and then killed 20 year old Dorothy with a rifle. She left behind many who loved her, including her mother and younger sister.

Posted by Tasha1701D on October 22nd, 2019
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