Memorial Wall : victims of domestic abuse

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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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July 18th:
Jeffrey Dryden
died on July 18th, 2010

Early in the morning of July 18th in 2010, Jeffrey Dryden returned home after socialising with his twin brother. Within minutes, he was dead, stabbed in the neck by his girlfriend. She was arrested and charged with his second-degree murder. Over time details emerged that Jeff had been living with verbal and physical abuse...had been the male target of a violent female abuser.

Posted by Jane on June 14th, 2018
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July 19th:
Swapnil Sonawane
died on July 19th, 2016

15yo Swapnil from India has been dating a girl from a different caste since they were in 7th grade. On July 18th, Swapnil's first day of college, the girl's family discovered their secret and demanded that he shouldn't contact her again. They beat him up and took his phone and pen drive, to destroy all evidence of their relationship. Swapnil's parents, who also just heard of the relationship, ran to the police because they feared for their son's life, but were told "Why are you behaving like characters in the film Sairat. Your story will also become like the film's. There will be bloodshed in your home." Sairat, a Marathi film, tells the story of an inter-caste couple who are killed in the name of honour by the girl's family. "My complaint against the girl's brother was not registered. Had they taken action, my son would have been alive today," said Swapnil's dad.

The same night a group of 15-20 men came to Swapnil's house, at first threatening him and his dad, and then inviting them to come to the girl's house to settle the matter. Dad was reluctant, but Swapnil assured him it will be alright. "When I reached their home, the girl's father started saying casteist things about me and my son," said Swapnil's dad. "Both my son and I were slapped. The father called the girl and asked my son to apologise to her and call her his sister. My son was humiliated and was asked to fall at her feet. He even did that. But the girl's father kicked him. He was so scared that he ran out of the house. Four-five people ran behind him and beat him." Swapnil, his mom, and his dad tried to flee from the house, but were chased and beat up by the girl's family, while bystanders did not intervene. According to the police, "Swapnil was injured in his private parts and his chest. His skull was cracked and he was left bleeding on a street behind Nerul police station. He was taken to D Y Patil hospital but was declared dead on arrival." Swapnil's dad said he would always rue the moment he decided to take Swapnil to the girl's home. "I saw my son fall to the ground. I saw him die before my eyes," he said.

Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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Lori Kay Soares Hacking
died on July 19th, 2004

Lori Kay Soares Hacking, was reported missing by her husband after he said she left her house to go for a run in Salt Lake City's Memory Grove. He eventually confessed to killing her and was ultimately sentenced to prison. On the 10 year anniversary of Lori death her mother shared that "people say, 'You need to do this, you need to do that. You need to get over it.' I wanted to slap them. Because you never get over it. I'm not over it now. I will never get over it. What you get over is the immediacy of it. You get over the shock and the disbelief and all of that panic — that desperation you feel when you can't find your child. You get over that as time passes. But you never get over the loss."

Posted by Jane on July 22nd, 2018
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July 20th:
Rosemary Gill
died on July 20th, 2013

48yo Rosemary from UK wasn't happy in her marriage. The relationship wasn't working out, they were sleeping in separate room, and Rosemary filed for divorce and was seeing her previous husband. Her current husband hired private investigators, installed various tracking devices, secretly followed her around the town, and finally texted her that he will agree to a divorce if she spends the night home one last time. He murdered her that night by repeatedly hitting her on the head with a dumbbell. Their 19yo daughter, who had been sleeping in the next door room, found her mom's body the next morning.

Rosemary'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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July 22nd:
Charles Billis
died on July 22nd, 2009

57yo Mr Billis from Vermont, USA, was legally blind. He died in a car crash when his wife was driving and wearing a seat belt and he wasn't. It was ruled an accident at first, but she then bragged about murdering her husband on a dating website, repeatedly stating that the crash was deliberate and providing numerous details, stating that she did it because he was controlling. She was sentenced to 7-15 years.

Posted by Manya on June 16th, 2018
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July 23rd:
Laura Perez
died on July 23rd, 2014

25yo police officer Laura Perez was killed by her husband because he thought she was cheating on him. "She was a monster," he said in court. "She was detestable for what she did to me." He shot her and set their house on fire, so that their 5yo daughter wouldn't know what happened, according to him.

Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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July 28th:
Ravinder Kaur
died on July 28th, 2011

24yo Ravinder was born and raised in India, and moved to Canada to marry her old classmate. Ravinder worked as a sub-editor, volunteered helping new immigrants settle in Canada, and taught Indian folk dances to the community. Her husband didn't like how popular she was, and they split up. Soon after Ravinder moved out, he came to her workplace and hacked her to death. "Life sentence is OK, but there should be death penalty," said her father. "We still regret that marriage, as there were several well-to-do families approaching us for our daughter. We married her to death in Canada. The murder still hounds us, makes us sleepless."

Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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August 2nd:
Paige Linsmeyer
died on August 2nd, 2015

27yo Paige from Wisconsin, USA, worked at a paper mill and enjoyed softball, volleyball, darts, fishing, golfing and traveling. Paige was killed by her 51yo boyfriend who then committed suicide. Their neighbor said, "It makes me sad because I know her and I grew up with her. I knew her dad and family, and I know how devastated she must be."

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 3rd:
Olumide Ayeni
died on August 3rd, 2018

36yo Olumide from Lagos worked as a hospital pharmacist and had a wife and two children. His marriage was fraught with disagreements, and his father advised him to divorce, but the rest of the family discouraged him from meddling. On August 8th, Friday night, Olumide's wife stabbed him to death over suspicions of infidelity. Their children were taken by her mother.

Posted by Manya on May 4th, 2019
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August 4th:
Sandra Coke
died on August 4th, 2013

Mrs Coke was a federal investigator of death row inmates in California, USA, working to overturn wrongful convictions and improve inmates' quality of life. She was murdered by a violent sex offender whom she dated briefly 20 years prior, and with whom she reconnected after he was released from prison about a year before her death. Here's a quote from Federal Defender Press Release: "Sandra was a compassionate, intelligent, thorough investigator. A devoted single mother and friend to her coworkers, she dedicated her work and her life to looking for the best in people, to give some explanation to why people do what they do - even the most heinous of acts, all based upon the belief that no person should be judged only by the worst act he or she committed."

Posted by Manya on June 26th, 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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