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 3rd:
Alyssa Morgan
died on April 3rd, 2015

12yo Allyssa from Iowa, USA, killed herself because she was bullied in school for being bisexual. "When you have other people telling you that you're not worthy of anything, or that being bisexual is wrong or somehow disgusting... They're going to take that into thought - that maybe I wasn't right for this world," said her mom. Alyssa left a note saying, "I'm sorry… for everything… I just can't anymore… I love you ALL Goodbye."


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016
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Harry Lew
died on April 3rd, 2011

Lance Cpl. Harry Lew was hazed by his fellow Marines, and found dead on April 3. The world wouldn't have known how Lew died, had not one other soldier came forward to tell the truth. His parents were informed by the USMC that Harry was killed on the battlefield, 'supporting combat operations' "I feel very proud of my son," his father said. "But I also feel very, very sad. Nothing can compare to the loss of my only son." One of Lew's passions was tricking, which is a combination of break dancing, acrobatics and martial arts. He helped coach a youth group called "That Breaking Club." The members remember him as someone who brought them close together with his sunny personality and impressive mid-air flips.


Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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April 4th:
McKinley Wilder
died on April 4th, 2012

2yo McKinley from California, USA, died of alcohol poisoning and malnutrition. Her mom and dad were going through a hard divorce. Mom felt dad was manipulative and enjoying the battles, dad felt mom was "a cold-blooded narcissist," and the kids (McKinley had an older sister) were caught in the middle of it. The mother was warned by CPS about her alcohol consumption and was required to stay sober while children were in her custody. Instead, she was binge-drinking and giving alcohol to them too. She was sentenced to ten years as per her plea agreement, to spare the surviving child the trauma of having to testify against her.


Posted by Manya on July 5th, 2016
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mikee
died on April 4th, 2011

mikee mi so soree you feleds ths wer tha onlee waa owt mi wesh mi kolda helpeds you mi wesh you wolda gwabeds hols of mi han oen moer tiem mi wil nevr evr forges you you wer mi angel forevr you wil be mi angel


Posted by kami on April 9th, 2011
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April 5th:
Afroza Chowdhury
died on April 5th, 2015

60yo Afroza Chowdhury from California, USA, had a fight with her husband. He threatened to kill her, and she responded she'd rather kill herself than be killed by him. He called 911 and reported her for threatening suicide. The police officers who arrived on scene couldn't understand Mrs Chowdhury's accent and spoke with her adult son over the phone. In the end the husband was arrested for making threats (while on probation for a previous offense), and Mrs Chowdhury was taken to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation. A few hours later the husband was released. Mrs Chowdhury was also released and put on a taxi. When she discovered she was being taken back to her husband, she committed suicide by jumping out of the car (traveling at 60mph on a highway).

"It seems wrong for them to send her to the exact same environment which led her to make suicidal statements and that was just an unhealthy, unsafe environment for her," public defender said. "But if they don't think she's suicidal, she gets to make that decision for herself." However, both California law and the hospital's policy require that staff make reasonable attempts to notify next of kin before releasing a mental health patient. "I have a sister who lives back in Bangladesh," said her son, "and obviously they're asking me, ‘What kind of hospital releases a 60-year-old woman in the middle of the night?' If I knew she was at the hospital - 100 percent - me and my wife would have come and picked her up." His attorney added, "I think his biggest concern is not compensation, but a change in the system so this doesn't happen to someone else's mom, sister, wife."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017
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April 6th:
Lance Helms
died on April 6th, 1995

2yo Lance from California, USA, was born addicted to heroin. Lance stayed with his paternal grandma and aunt because his mom went to prison for robbery, and his dad was violent towards his girlfriend, his sister, his mother, and his grandmother. Despite that, court returned Lance to his dad, who beat him to death 7 months later. "He was the center of our lives," said his grandma. "Lance loved people, especially men. If (his father) had shown him any affection at all, Lance would have followed him around like a little puppy. He was such an incredibly good little boy that I cannot comprehend how anyone could possibly hurt him... (Lance's aunt) asked me after Lance's death, why would God bother making Lance so smart if He was only going to let him die. Well, God didn't cause Lance to die. He was murdered by his own father."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017
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April 7th:
Rehtaeh Parsons
died on April 7th, 2013

15yo Rehtaeh from Nova Scotia, Canada, was reportedly raped by four teenage boys at a small party that involved drinking vodka. No charges were pressed after the initial police investigation because there was evidence supporting the boys' claim that the intercourse was consensual; it was deemed a "he said, she said" case. However, the incident was photographed during the party, and the photo became widespread in Rehtaeh's school and town. As a result, many in school called Parsons a "slut" and she received text messages and Facebook messages from people requesting to have sex with her. Seventeen months later Rehtaeh committed suicide. Her funeral was attended by 500 people, including Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, who said he came "first and foremost as a father trying to imagine what kind of incredible, unfathomable grief could be visited upon a family." In August 2013, Nova Scotia enacted a law allowing victims of cyberbullying to seek protection, including help in identifying anonymous perpetrators, and to sue the individuals or the parents in the case of minors.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017
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April 8th:
Maria Akwiilinus
died on April 8th, 2018

66yo Mrs Akwiilinus from Namibia had a violent son. On April 7th he found his girlfriend at his mother's homestead, and that made him angry because he was not on speaking terms with mom. The argument turned violent. When Mrs Akwiilinus returned home and discovered what happened, she walked over to her son's home and pleaded with him to stop abusing his girlfriend who is the mother of his eleven-month-old son, Mrs Akwiilinus grandson. Her son responded by hacking her to death with a machete.


Posted by Manya on June 30th, 2018
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Kari Lynn Baker
died on April 8th, 2016

31 year old Kari Lynn Baker of Hewitt, TX was a teacher at Spring Valley Elementary and also an adjunct instructor for Tarleton State University. Kari was a loving wife and mother of three girls. Her daughter, Kassidy, passed away six years before Kari. Her husband, Matt, was interested in a new woman in his life and decided to kill Kari. He mixed up some sleeping pills and alcohol, and then smothered Kari once she fell asleep. He then faked a suicide note and staged the bedroom to make it look like Kari had taken her own life. A few years later, he was convicted of her murder.


Posted by Tasha1701D on May 14th, 2017
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April 9th:
Jessica Christina Jones
died on April 9th, 2014

25yo Jessica from Washington state, USA, was "sassy, with a great sense of humor," according to her friends and family. She enjoyed working with her dad clam digging, fishing, canning, berry picking and planting trees, loved to draw, country music and her cats. Jessica was shot to death by her husband in the middle of a domestic dispute. Her 9yo son drew a picture of a tulip for his grandma, Jessica's mom, and told her to hold onto it if she felt sad.


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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Andrea Dworkin
died on April 9th, 2005

A raped, prostituted warrior-woman who knew what she was talking about yet was so reviled when she fought for the right of women to be free from all forms of exploitation and violence. I remember you with eternal gratitude, sister. Your rest is well-earned.


Posted by Louise on April 15th, 2008
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April 10th:
Emily Rose Perrin
died on April 10th, 2016

4yo Emily from Illinois, USA, "loved to be the princess," according to her cousin. "She was an awesome little girl." Emily's mom had a history of psychiatric illness and substance abuse, and was parenting five children without a support network. Child Protective Services received ten reports of suspected child abuse but dismissed them. "Although this family presented as chaotic, unpredictable and at high risk for harm to the children in the household, the approach to service intervention appeared passive," the Quality Assurance Report states. "Rather than act quickly to move to the next step of safety planning or requesting assistance from the state's attorney to obtain a court order or custody, the caseworker offered prompts for a consistent medication and therapy regimen for family members."

Emily suffered from cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that makes it hard to breathe. On April 10th, the day before Emily's 5th birthday, her mom, stark naked, laid on top of Emily and cupped her mouse and nose, suffocating her, because "the dark angel has come." "My little sister was an angel, a little princess," her older brother said. "She always smiled, even though in life she was handed lemons. She had a difficult life."


Posted by Manya on March 26th, 2018
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April 11th:
Brian Engelhart
died on April 11th, 2017

38yo Mr Engelhart from Wisconsin, USA, worked as a landscaper. He loved fixing cars, telling jokes, and spending time with his family, especially his son. He had a fight with his girlfriend (who admitted to using cocaine and heroin that evening). Mr Englehart went outside to take a walk, and she ran him over with her Jeep, causing broken legs, a broken pelvis, broken ribs, "a deformity to his lower back" and "a large amount of internal bleeding." He was dead by the time the police arrived at the scene. The woman was charged with homicide and is pending trial.


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2018
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Angelina Rodriguez
died on April 11th, 2013

5-month-old Angelina from Chicago, USA, was smothered to death because she woke up and wouldn't stop crying while her mom and dad were drinking. Her mom gave her a bottle, which didn't help, so her dad put his hand over the baby's mouth. When he removed it, she started crying again, so he repeated the process three times, till her body went limp. The father put Angelina back into her playpen, and the couple went to sleep. At 7AM Angelina's mom woke up to get an older child ready for school, and went to back to sleep. At 11AM both parents woke up again and found the baby stiff and unresponsive. Angelina died in hospital four days later. Autopsy showed brain swelling, as well as skull fractures that are believed to be from a prior, unrelated incident.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017
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April 12th:
Dominick Calhoun
died on April 12th, 2010

Dominick was a 4yo boy from Michigan, USA. He liked cards, snowmobiling, and dancing, and lived with his mom, 8yo brother, and moms boyfriend in what police called a "drug house" - the boyfriend had several prior convictions for drugs and assaults, and used to beat up Dominick's mom too.

On April 10th 4yo Dominick had an accident, wetting his pants and the couch he was sitting on. The moms boyfriend asked him who was going to pay for the soiled couch, and hit and kicked him for three days, till the boy died. He beat Dominick about the head, kicked him in his privates, pocked him in the eyes with his fingers, and slammed his head against a wall.

During these three days Dominick was heard screaming "Make him stop" to his mom. She tried to interfere, but her boyfriend hit her too, and pulled out chunks of her hair. None of the neighbors called 911. Argentine Township police Chief Dan Allen said a phone call could have saved Dominick's life. "A normal person would call law enforcement," he said. "That could have made the difference."


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016
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