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 30th:
Larry Martin
died on April 30th, 2013

28yo Larry from Chicago, USA, was stabbed to death by his pregnant girlfriend for not buying her a gift. Her, Larry, his 8yo son, and his adult male cousin spent the day at the local mall where Larry bought gifts for both the 8yo and the cousin, while the girlfriend didn't receive anything, even though her birthday was coming up. They had a fight on their way home, where she physically assaulted Larry while he was driving. It resulted in her leaving the three of them on the side of the road and driving home alone. When they arrived home by foot, she wouldn't open the door. Larry started banging on the door, she opened it and stabbed him with a knife, in plain view of his 8yo son. While the cousin tried to apply pressure to Larry's wound and call 911, she stood over him and said, "This is what you get for messing with me. I hope you die, mother f***."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 1st:
Wilfred Gardner
died on May 1st, 2011

85yo Wilfred Gardner was one of the Orchid View residents. Orchid View was a care home for the elderly in West Sussex, UK, that was operating from 2009 to 2011, charged £3000 per month, and provided "sub-optimal" care that was deemed "institutionalized abuse" and resulted in the death of five of its residents.

Mr Gardner was diabetic but sometimes he wasn't given his insulin, and sometimes there were no strips to check his blood sugar levels. He was also in pain but denied pain medication unless he asked for it. "He's got dementia, how would he know what to say?" commented his daughter.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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Tanya
died on May 1st, 1989

We called her 'Tanya the iron' because she had a large nose. She was physically and sexually abused by her stepdad. In seventh grade we agreed to commit suicide together with her. She didnt wait for me, jumped from a 192 feet high construction site, was burried in a closed casket. She said her life was not livable. I was sad she was dead, but I thought it was her right, to make this choice, and I was glad she wasn't in pain anymore. Her choice made sense to me. And now I'm deeply sad and sorry that I wasn't old enough back then, and that there was no adult this 13yo girl could speak to. It cannot be that a life is ruined hopelessly when you're only 13. It could have been fixed, Tanya. I'm so sorry it wasn't.


Posted by Lera on May 22nd, 2013
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Danny (16 years)
died on May 1st, 1982

I wish you had found another way to deal with your pain. You are dearly missed.


Posted by jlc20m on May 6th, 2012
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May 2nd:
Ashlynne Mike
died on May 2nd, 2016

11yo Ashlynne from Navajo Nation, USA, was playing with her 9yo brother Ian near their bus stop after school, when a stranger lured them into his van. He drove them to a remote location, and then left Ian in the van and walked away with Ashlynne. After a while he returned to the van alone. Ian realized that his sister was hurt, ran off, and alerted adults. Ashlynne's body was found the next day; she was raped and beaten to death with a crowbar. 1,600 people attended her funeral. Press release from the presidents office included the following statement: "Since the death of our daughter, the Navajo Nation has worked diligently to establish an Amber Alert and 911 system."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 3rd:
Yeardley Love
died on May 3rd, 2010

Yeardley Love was a 22yo student of University of Virginia, majoring in government and minoring in Spanish. She played women's lacrosse and field hockey, and dated a boy from the same school, also a lacrosse/hockey player. He had a drinking problem, and assaulted her while drunk. They broke up, but on May 3rd he broke into her apartment and "shook Love, and her head repeatedly hit the wall" (according to his testimony). Yeardley died.

Yeardley's family established the One Love Foundation to honor her memory (Yeardley wore jersey number "1" while playing lacrosse). "The mission of the foundation is to encourage and develop in children and young adults four qualities of character that Yeardley exemplified… service, kindness, humility and sportsmanship… that together add up to One Love," said Yeardley's mom.


Posted by Manya on February 14th, 2016
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May 4th:
Kianna Rudesill
died on May 4th, 2011

4yo Kianna from Illinois, USA, was murdered by her foster mother because she spilled some dog food. At the trial, the woman insisted that Kianna's injuries were self-inflicted, that she was a troubled child and a head-banger. She said, "I loved Kianna very deeply. My husband and I made the decision not to give up on her and we never did. We were committed to all four (foster) kids. I spent a lot of time with Kianna; I never hurt her (...) I didn't think it was anything more than a bruise." However, several doctors testified during the trial that the amount of force needed to bring about the trauma Kianna suffered was "acute" and "catastrophic." "She had staples on her head," said Kianna's grandmother. "Her long, beautiful hair had been cut. Her head, body and hands were covered in bruises. The doctors said this was abuse. Who could have hated her so much to inflict this kind of pain on her?"


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 5th:
Corey Leech
died on May 5th, 2017

Corey Leech took the stand and, in a poised and confident voice, testified in excruciating detail how a Franciscan friar began sexually abusing him from his early teens. Mr. Leech gave voice to scores of victims of the late Stephen Baker Mr. Leech told of Baker abusing him on the athletic training table at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown. He spoke of the friar abusing him on car trips and at his monastery. "He wanted to prevent other children from living his nightmare," Mr. Leech's family wrote in his obituary. "While he did more than his share to help others, it was too late for Corey. His nightmare was inescapable." Mr. Leech's family and supporters recall him as someone long concerned for child welfare. He was a nurse in a neo-natal intensive care unit and was known for his gentle manner.


Posted by Jane on June 15th, 2018
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Jean Halfpenny
died on May 5th, 2010

77yo Jean Halfpenny was one of the Orchid View residents. Orchid View was a care home for the elderly in West Sussex, UK, that was operating from 2009 to 2011, charged £3000 per month, and provided "sub-optimal" care that was deemed "institutionalized abuse" and resulted in the death of five of its residents.

Mrs Halfpenny stayed at Orchid View from November 2009 to May 2010, and on a few occasions were found naked in her bed, crying, cold, hungry, and thirsty. Her daughter wasn't allowed to visit in the morning or during meal times, and was reprimanded for bringing food for her mother. In April Mrs Halfpenny was administered three times her regular dose of the blood thinning drug Warfarin over the course of 17 days; she was hospitalized twice after that, and passed away on May 5th.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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Zella
died on May 5th, 2007

I never told you that I loved you or that you were my best friend. Thank you for being my mother figure and being my constant security in life. I am who I am now because of you. I vow to live each day as you would want me to live it because you loved me and now live in my heart forever. I love you, Krisjewel


Posted by Krisjewel on February 19th, 2012
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May 6th:
Ronke Shonde
died on May 6th, 2016

Mrs Ronke Shonde from Lagos, Nigeria, often complained to her family about domestic violence. The family fought about the money, and both accused each other of cheating. At some point they even signed an agreement at a police station that they would not be involved in further domestic disputes no matter what happened - at the insistence of their relatives, pastor, and landlady. Physical abuse continued, but Ronke stayed with her husband for the sake of the children (aged six and four). On May 6th, Ronke's husband told their nanny she wouldn't be needed on that day, didn't send the kids to school, and locked himself, Ronke, and the children inside the house. The neighbors broke the door because the children were screaming, and found Ronke's dead body on the floor. The husband fled the scene but eventually turned himself in and was charged with murder. No family member or relative of his was present at Ronke's funeral.


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 7th:
Kaleib L Higgins
died on May 7th, 2011

2yo Kaileb from Tennessee, USA, was visiting with his dad (whom he only knew for 5 months) in Kentucky. Dad was out of the house, and Kaileb was left with dad's girlfriend and her three children (all under 10 years of age). Kaileb died of multiple blunt force trauma to his head and body. The woman pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter.


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 8th:
Sanam Navsarka
died on May 8th, 2008

2yo Sanam from UK was abused to death by her mom and mom's boyfriend. She was beaten, neglected, and locked in a cupboard if she cried. At the time of death, Sanam had 107 separate external injuries, including fractures of both legs and both arms. "Sanam had been in a great deal of pain and distress over a long period leading up to her death," prosecutor said. "Her pain and discomfort would have been obvious to anyone who saw her, let alone who lived with her. (...) No doubt Sanam, as a two-year-old child, looked to both defendants to help her and to protect her. Neither defendant did anything to assist or save Sanam from the horrific injuries that she received. Those injuries were not caused during a brief and singular episode of violence by an adult upon a small child."

Sanam's mother was convicted of manslaughter for failing to protect Sanam from abuse, and her boyfriend - of murder. "You did nothing, absolutely nothing," the judge said to Sanam's mother. "That is unbelievable. It is also incredibly cruel. This was a gross abuse of trust by you as a mother. You selfishly put yourself and relationship with [your boyfriend] before your child."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 9th:
Rodney Hulin, Jr
died on May 9th, 1996

Rodney was about to turn 17yo when he "caused a small fire in a pile of empty cans against the outside wall of the residence", according to an incident report. He was a juvenile tried as an adult, and took a plea agreement of 8 years in prison with the possibility of parole in 2 years. In less than a year he was gang-raped. Rodney reported it and a medical examination corroborated the claim, but no charges were filed against the offenders. Two months later Rodney hanged himself. Medics restored his heartbeat, and from that point on he was transferred from one prison hospital to another, until he died on May 9th, 1996. His dad had applied for a medical parole on his son's behalf, and it was granted; Rodney was scheduled to move to a nursing home on May 11th.


Posted by Manya on February 5th, 2016
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