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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March 21st:
Zahra Abrahimzadeh
died on March 21st, 2010

44yo Mrs Abrahimzadeh had three children and an abusive husband. The family moved from Iran to Australia, where she was able to seek help, and eventually moved with her kids to a domestic violence shelter. The four lived in hiding, but the next year Mrs Abrahimzadeh went to a Persian New Years function at a local convention centre, where her husband killed her in front of about 300 witnesses. "He was controlling, domineering, regularly resorted to verbal abuse and to violence," said their son. "He was very well-respected in the community (and) people would say 'your father is a gentleman',but obviously, they did not know about what happened behind closed doors. For my mother, there was nothing much to do... if you have got a bully over your head, beating you up, you just sit there and cry."


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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March 26th:
Michele Davis
died on March 26th, 2015

35yo Michelle from Arizona, USA, had seven children (ages 3 to 15) and an abusive husband who has been arrested at least four times for domestic violence and child abuse. She took care of the kids, was going to school to become a nurse, and was active at online support groups for abused women. "She was very compassionate," her dad said. "And she was very much a people person that wanted to be there for people."

On March 25th the whole family was at home, the father got upset with one of the kids for playing video games, and struck him on the face. The boy complained to mom, Michelle confronted her husband, and soon 911 received two phone calls at the same time: one from the children, pleading for help, and one from the father, crying hysterically and apologizing for killing his wife. Michelle was found with 13 stab wounds, and died in a hospital the next day. The man is held on murder charges, the kids are with their grandma, Michelle's mom.

"There's times when you're going throughout your day trying to get done what needs to get done, and then it all of a sudden dawns on you that she's really gone, and then quickly comes into my mind those kids and what some of them saw," her family says.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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March 28th:
Mark Hudson
died on March 28th, 2015

26yo Mark from Pennsylvania, USA, was a police officer shot to death by his girlfriend in his house. They had a history of abuse: six months prior to the shooting, she threatened Mark with a knife and said she wanted to kill him. He locked himself in a bedroom, called police, and later secured a protection from abuse order. The woman gave a few different explanations of what happened on March 28th, including that Mark's dog shot him by holding the gun in its mouth, and that she shot him in self defense. When sentencing the woman to 18-36 years of prison, the judge told her, "You could have easily walked away from that situation and you chose not to do that, and therefore this sentence was brought on by you and by no one else."

Mark's best friend said he never saw Mark angry or confrontational about his relationship with his girlfriend and described the victim as "an extinguisher" who strove to defuse conflict. "His love for his friends, his family, his mom, his brother was unconditional," he said. Mark's boss, Darby Police Chief Robert Smythe said Mark had a bright and promising career ahead of him in law enforcement and likely could have been chief one day. "He had a vibrant personality. He would meet people and just connect with them, because that's the way he was. He's just a person that shouldn't have been taken from us so soon."


Posted by Manya on March 10th, 2017
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March 31st:
Salwa Haydar
died on March 31st, 2015

58yo Salwa Haydar was a mother of four, stabbed to death by her husband. Their 18yo daughter Ola tried to protect her mom, but received a serious hand injury. Mrs Haydar worked for a welfare office, assisting victims of domestic violence, after the family immigrated from Lebanon to Australia to avoid the bombings (Mrs Haydar's mother was killed in one).


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016
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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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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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April 16th:
Kelly-Anne Bates
died on April 16th, 1996

14yo Kelly Ann from UK was babysitting for friends when she first met her future murderer (44yo at the time). They were secretly dating, and two years later moved in together. "As soon as I saw (him) the hairs on the back of my neck went up," said her mom. "I tried everything I could to get Kelly Anne away from him." Over the next year the parents started noticing bruising on their daughter (which she explained as accidents); she quit her part-time job, became socially withdrawn. Kelly Ann's body was found on April 16th. What he did to her is too graphic to describe here (you can read the details if you click on her name above). The pathologist who examined her body said, "In my career, I have examined almost 600 victims of homicide but I have never come across injuries so extensive." The prosecutor said, "It was as if he deliberately disfigured her, causing her the utmost pain, distress and degradation ... The injuries were not the result of one sudden eruption of violence, they must have been caused over a long period (and) were so extensive and so terrible that the defendant must have deliberately and systematically tortured the girl ... Her death must have been a merciful end to her torment."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 17th:
Ronald Oliver
died on April 17th, 2013

75yo Mr Oliver from Missouri, USA, was an army veteran, commercial truck driver, father of four, and a grandfather and great-grandfather of a few dozen. He enjoyed listening to gospel, country, jazz and rhythm and blues. According to his family, "Ronnie did what he could sharing his love with all that were under his roof, in his neighborhood and especially throughout his family. He was a community assistant to anyone who needed care." Mr Oliver's 80yo wife of 38 years broke his skull with a baseball bat because he "began talking smart to her."


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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Madhu Yadav
died on April 17th, 2012

One phone call could have saved 29-year-old Madhu Yadav's life. That call was never made. On Monday night, the marketing professional was murdered by her in-laws. Hours before, Madhu had tried calling her sister Mamta poor phone reception defeated that effort. Madhu then called up my father in Delhi," said Mamta. According to Madhu's family members, she was weeping incessantly over the phone and appeared to be in a terrible state of mind. Her father advised her to remain in the house of her in-laws, till they came to pick her up. Next morning, the family received a call stating that Madhu had committed suicide. "Sameep (the victim's husband) phoned me and asked to come to Mumbai. As I listened, I asked only one question to him: ‘Have you killed my Madhu?" said CH Yadav, the deceased's father. When her relatives saw Madhu's body, they found certain marks on her neck. Medical reports finally confirmed she was murdered.


Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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April 19th:
Ritu Uppal
died on April 19th, 2015

29yo Jet Airways hostes Ritu from India was watching a sitcom on TV when her drunk husband returned home with a friend and some takeout food. He wanted Ritu to serve the food and switch the channel because he wanted to watch a cricket match. Ritu refused and, during the argument, spat on her husband's face and slapped him. He started beating her up and told his friend to leave the house and not interfere in their personal matter. "As she continued to abuse my family members, I lost cool and pressed a pillow on her face to make her quiet," the husband explained. "However, a little later I realised that she was not moving and had become unconscious. I immediately called her father and after his arrival, took her to a hospital, where she was declared brought dead."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017
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