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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February 7th:
Presley Porting
died on February 7th, 2017

2yo Presley from Kansas, USA, loved to play with her baby dolls, carrying around her purse, going swimming and singing and dancing. "Those who were lucky enough to know her felt pure joy when she toddled in the room," her obituary states. "Her sweet smile, funny personality and big beautiful brown eyes would melt the hearts of those around her. Presley stole the hearts of everyone she came into contact with." "She had a personality that was funny, and she was a very sweet, very soft, loving child," according to her mom. Presley died of blunt force injuries to her head and abrasions on her torso, while staying with her dad and his fiancee. "It's heartbreaking what she went through. My daughter just wanted to see her dad and her two younger sisters, and I truly, wholeheartedly thought she was safe," her mom said. "I didn't put my hands on her, but my part in that was not being her mother. I should have stayed sober. I should have been there for her. She was angel. She brought so much light to my life, and unfortunately I didn't realize it until it was too late."


Posted by Manya on June 16th, 2018
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February 8th:
Reagan Tokes
died on February 8th, 2017

21yo Reagan from Ohio, USA, was a fourth-year psychology major at Ohio State, due to graduate in May 2017. In February she was kidnapped on her way home from work, raped, and murdered by a registered sex offender who was released from prison three months prior. "We will always remember Reagan as a vibrant, loving young woman who embraced life," her family said. "She made a positive impact on people, was enthusiastic about everything and brought laughter and joy to all who knew her."


Posted by Manya on June 27th, 2018
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Kelly Thompson
died on February 8th, 2014

Her family and friends say Kelly Thompson, 43, was always the first to dream up ideas, invite people along, share her life with those she loved. But in her last days the Point Cook woman was also terrified, stalked by her obsessive, jealous ex-partner, Wayne Wood. Such was her distress that on her last night alive Ms Thompson fell asleep with three kitchen knives on her bedside table, a talisman against fear. Her body was found in her home in February 2014, after Wood broke into her home, stabbed her to death and then took his own life.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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February 9th:
Dale Harrell
died on February 9th, 2009

Marissa Devault, 36, killed her husband Dale Harrell in a failed bid to collect on a life insurance policy to repay about $300,000 in loans from her boyfriend. Devault said she killed her husband in self-defense and told investigators he had physically and sexually abused her in the past. Harrell, 34, died nearly a month later at a hospice because of complications from the head injuries inflicted by his wife. The court found Devault guilty of first degree murder.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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February 10th:
Addison and Leon Gehl
died on February 10th, 2015

Upon hearing an altercation between their parents 6-year-old Leon, and 3-year-Addison (Jeremy Gehl and Melissa Randolph’s son and daughter) came downstairs. Gehl shot both children before fatally shooting himself. A third child inside the residence was unharmed, and was reportedly found in the mother's arms outside of the home. Both children were airlifted to hospital. Three-year-old Addison was pronounced dead on arrival and 6-year-old Leon died soon after his admission.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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February 11th:
Ozgecan Aslan
died on February 11th, 2015

Ozgecan was a 19yo Psychology student from Mersin, Turkey. She had loving parents (her mom returned to workforce to fund her education) and an older sister with whom Ozgecan shared love of opera. On February 11th, 2015, Ozgecan was riding a minibus home, after going to a mall with her friend. The driver assaulted her, attempted to rape, but she resisted: scratched his face with her fingernails, and used pepper spray. In response to this, the driver stabbed her multiple times, beat her to death with an iron rod, and then asked his father and his friend for help disposing of the body (which they provided).

The case resulted in nationwide outrage and protests across the country, and was described as the first mass movement for Turkish women.


Posted by Manya on November 2nd, 2015
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My sister
died on February 11th, 2007

Sorry was not there for you, but could not do it anymore missed you for so many years and to have heard of your suicide hurts so bad, hopefully you have now found peace


Posted by dfk on November 2nd, 2008
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February 12th:
James Bulger
died on February 12th, 1993

James Patrick Bulger was a 2yo boy from UK who was abducted at a local shopping centre, tortured, and murdered by two ten-year-old boys, the youngest convicted murderers in modern English history. The boys were released from custody when they turned 18, but one of them, Jon Venables, had committed various offences since, including child porn distribution. The case has prompted widespread debate on the issue of how to handle young offenders when they are sentenced or released from custody.


Posted by Manya on April 18th, 2014
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Aurore Gagnon
died on February 12th, 1920

Aurore was a 10yo girl from Quebec, Canada, who was killed by her stepmom. Her birth mom died of tuberculosis, and her dad remarried. Shortly after, Aurore's younger brother was found dead and the neighbors were suspicious. In September of 1919, 10yo Aurore was hospitalized for more than a month because of a leg infection caused by physical abuse: her stepmom used to beat her with an axe handle. When Aurore was discharged, the beatings continued, and on February 12th the girl passed away from septicemia (infection from wounds entered her bloodstream and she died as a result). The story of l'enfant martyre (The Child Martyr) received great attention in the media and Aurore became an icon of Quebec sociological and popular culture.


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016
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February 13th:
Tobi Joan Doyle
died on February 13th, 2016

2yo Tobi from Colorado, USA, loved dancing, music, Minnie Mouse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Her mom and mom's boyfriend used to hit her, and send her on timeouts so long that she "could barely stand" by the time they were done. Her great aunt felt this was "overboard", and her babysitter even reported excessive discipline. Toby has been to the hospital for her injuries, but was sent back home because the doctors assumed she just fell down the stairs. Three weeks later, Toby died of blunt trauma to the head. Her mom was charged with child abuse resulting in death.


Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2017
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February 14th:
Reeva Steenkamp
died on February 14th, 2013

29yo Ms Steenkamp from South Africa was a successful model, appearing in magazines, commercials, and TV shows. She also worked as a paralegal, applied to the bar in 2011, and was hoping to be a qualified legal advocate by the age of 30. Ms Steenkamp was a keen horse rider until she broke her back in a fall in her early 20s and had to learn to walk again. Since November 2012 she was dating a South African Olympic and Paralympic runner, who shot her on Valentine's day 2013 while she was using the bathroom in his home. He said he mistook her for an intruder and was initially found guilty of culpable homicide, but then was convicted of murder.


Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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February 15th:
Torey Dymond
died on February 15th, 2012

1yo Torey Dymond from Florida, USA, died after taking a walk with his mom's boyfriend. The man said Torey was "whiny" and wasn't taking to him as he would have liked; he said the child fell and hit his head twice. When they got home, Torey's mom noticed that his face was purple and blue and he seemed "lifeless". She called 911, but Torey died in hospital.


Posted by Manya on March 23rd, 2017
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February 16th:
Blake Litton
died on February 16th, 2012

3yo Blake from Missouri, USA, lived with his mom, little sister, and mom's boyfriend. One evening their mom was at work at a nursing home, and the stepdad took Faith and Blake to Walmart. Blake soiled his pants, and the man "lost it," as he later texted Blake's mom. He beat Blake so badly that the boy's body was covered in cuts and bruises, he had a lacerated liver, and a ruptured blood vessel in his brain. Once the man calmed down and realized Blake was seriously hurt, he took both kids to their mom's work, saying that he loves her but he can't call ambulance for Blake because he'll end up in prison for life. Blake's mom told him to take Blake to emergency room anyway and went back to work. The man drove off with both kids, stopped on a highway and called 911, saying that Blake was just hit by a car. By that time (5AM) the mom finished her shift and arrived at the scene as she was walking home. When hospital staff saw Blake's injuries, they called the police. His sister also had cuts, bruises, and a broken wrist.

Blake died the next day, the man was imprisoned for life, mom is still pending trial on murder charges (because Blake might have survived had she called 911 immediately). Blake's little sister lives with her grandparents, and was the one who told the story of what happened, because she saw it all: how Blake soiled his pants at Walmart, how the man was punching Blake in the bathroom, how he drove her and her unconscious brother to mom's work in the middle of the night, how mom left them with him and went back to work, and how the man staged the hit-and-run that never happened.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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