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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December 28th:
Lucinda Knoll
died on December 28th, 2013

39yo mother of three from New York, USA, Mrs Knoll was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. He tried make it look like a robbery, so that she would die and he would get the custody of one of the children, the one they had in common. Mrs Knoll was "a happy and outgoing person who loved giving help to people in need," according to her family and friends.

Posted by Manya on December 13th, 2017
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December 29th:
Jyoti Singh Pandey (Nirbhaya)
died on December 29th, 2012

Jyoti was a 23yo girl from Delhi, India. Her dad sold his farm land and worked double shifts to give her an education, because she wanted to study and he loved her. "It never entered our hearts to ever discriminate," - he said, - "How could I be happy if my son is happy and my daughter isn't? And it was impossible to refuse a little girl who loved going to school."

On December 16th, Jyoti and her male friend saw a movie together in South Delhi, and at 9:30PM took a bus home. There were six other people on that bus, they all assaulted Jyoti and her friend, broke his ribs and knocked him unconscious, and violently beaten and raped Jyoti with a metal rod, before throwing them both on the side of the road. Jyoti fought back, leaving bite marks on all of her assailants. The friend survived, while Jyoti died a week later, after undergoing multiple surgeries to remove her inflamed intestines and reproductive organs.

The incident (commonly referred to as "the 2012 Delhi gang rape") resulted in public protests against the state and central governments for failing to provide adequate security for women. The Indian government re-evaluated its laws concerning rape prosecutions, passed multiple new laws and set up six new courts. Critics argue that the legal system remains slow to hear and prosecute rape cases, but most agree that the case has resulted in a tremendous increase in the public discussion of crimes against women and statistics show that there has been an improvement in the number of women willing to file a crime report.

Indian laws forbid disclosing rape victims' identity to the public without consent of their family, so initially Jyoti was referred to as Nirbhaya, "fearless".

Posted by Manya on October 17th, 2015
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Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon
died on December 29th, 2012

Lee-Ann Shannon's drowning came on the day she was due to leave home at her husband's insistence, to be replaced by his young lover - a woman who had lived in the Shannons' home earlier for about a year after Lee-Ann invited her in when she was homeless. "Her and Tim had what I thought was a loving marriage," Lee=Ann's mother said of her daughter. "(They had) many problems, because Tim was what I thought was a very controlling young man, but they just seemed to love each other so much." She said the two met in school, at Spring Arbor College, and kept in contact for five years before Lee-Ann finally agreed to marry him. Chaffin spoke of how much she misses her daughter, whom she said was highly intelligent, well-traveled, compassionate and a committed Christian.

Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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December 30th:
Izayah Wayne Denison
died on December 30th, 2008

2-month-old Izayah from Washington state, USA, was shaken and spanked with a spatula by his mom's boyfriend, while mom was in hospital, being treated for post-partum depression. The boyfriend pleaded guilty to second degree murder and is serving 14 year prison sentence. Izayah's organs saved lives of three babies.

Posted by Manya on December 13th, 2017
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December 31st:
Laura Aceves
died on December 31st, 2012

Laura was a 21yo mother from Arkansas, USA. She worked at a Tyson Foods plant, deboning chicken. Her apartment complex manager describes her as a "very, very sweet girl". "She went to work, and came home, and took care of her son," he said, "I don't think I ever saw her without a smile."

Laura had a violent ex, Victor Acuna-Sanchez, the father of her 4 months old son. He was out on bail, awaiting trial for previous attacks on Laura, including a felony for aggravated assault. Victor was under court order to have no contact with Laura and to check in with probation by phone twice week. He followed neither order, kept threatening to kill Laura, physically assaulting her, and damaging her property. She kept calling the police, but somehow they were unable to protect her. Laura's body was found in her apartment, with a gunshot wound to her head, and her 4 months old son covered in her blood. Victor was arrested the same evening in his mom's house, hiding in the shower with a .22-caliber handgun.

Posted by Manya on February 2nd, 2016
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died on December 31st, 2008

She was the most courageous and outgoing person I knew, and I wish I had been there more for her. She took her own life two days after my birthday.

Posted by Casey on July 17th, 2009
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January 1st:
Noelle Paquette
died on January 1st, 2013

27yo Noelle from Canada was a kindergarten teacher, a tutor, and a volunteer with the Sunshine Foundation (organization dedicated to fulfilling custom-made dreams for Canadian kids living with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses). On January 1st Noelle was at a New Year's Eve party with her boyfriend. They had a fight, and she decided to walk home, about 12 miles, at 2AM. During that walk Noelle was abducted, raped, and murdered by a couple (a 34yo woman and a 22yo man) who met online at a sex fetish site and frequently fantasized about raping and killing someone. Noelle happened to be "in the wrong place at the wrong time," as was stated in court.

Posted by Manya on June 25th, 2018
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Jeffrey Fehr
died on January 1st, 2012

18yo Jeffrey from California, USA, committed suicide because he was bullied for being gay. The bullying started as early as 3rd grade and continued till his death. "Jeff loved everyone with everything he had," said his friend. "He always wanted everyone to get along, without drama. He was a leader." Jeffrey's parents supported him, signed him up for counseling for depression, and encouraged him to pursue art, theater, dance, and cheerleading. He hung himself on New Year's day. "So many people gained strength from Jeff," his father said. "The unfortunate part is that Jeff didn't realize it."

Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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January 2nd:
Arisa Vana David
died on January 2nd, 2018

25yo Vana was involved in an on-and-off abusive relationship for the past seven years. "Many times she would write on Facebook that she and the man done and then people seeing them hugging up and walking the road," Vana's mom said. "The next thing people seeing the man beating her all over the place. She could not have talked to anyone, the man would feel offended. She got a little job in the parlour right here and he going there and abusing she. He always sticking up on her. Over a year ago, he pelt her with a cellphone and her eye got damaged, she always had to go to the doctor." Vana was choked to death in front of her two daughters, aged 7 and 2.

Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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January 3rd:
Lena (Elaine) Smith
died on January 3rd, 2014

45yo Elaine from Virgina, USA, turned her life around four months prior to her death. She quit drugs, started taking medications for her schizophrenia, gained custody of her grand daughter, started going to church. She also kicked out her boyfriend, whom they had a violent history with; Elaine was convicted of stabbing him during a domestic dispute. On January 3rd he came over and stabbed her in the back six times. He claimed self-defense, referencing her prior history of violence, drugs, and mental illness. However, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 31 years in prison.

Posted by Jane on June 14th, 2018
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Alexa Linboom
died on January 3rd, 2012

5yo Alexa from Tennessee, USA, stole a sip of grape soda from her stepmom on New Year's Day. For that, her dad and stepmom forced her to drink two and a half liters of soda and water over one-to-two hours. Alexa went unconscious and died in the hospital two days later. Both adults pled guilty to murder.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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died on January 3rd, 1999

May you rest in peace.

Posted by secretsouls on May 9th, 2008
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January 4th:
Zainab Ansari
died on January 4th, 2018

7yo Zainab from Pakistan was staying with her uncle while her parents were performing Umrah (pilgrimage to Mecca). Zainab went missing on her way to a Quran tuition class, which was very close to her house. She was kidnapped by a 24yo mechanic who tortured, raped, and strangled Zainab to death. He was arrested nineteen days later, confessed, and his DNA matched with the samples of at least eight minor girls who were raped and murdered within the same neighborhood.

Zainab's death resulted in mass protests across Pakistan; Punjab chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said, "Those societies that cannot protect its children are eternally condemned."

Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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Junko Furuta
died on January 4th, 1989

Junko was a 16yo highschool student from Tokyo, Japan. She was walking home from school when abducted by four boys roughly her age (all under 18), that she didn't know, and was raped, tortured, and mutilated for six weeks, before they killed her and disposed of the body by placing it in a 55 gallon drum filled with concrete.

They never met her before and had no grudge against her - they picked her at random, just because they could. What they did to her during those 44 days is too graphic to post here (click on her name if you want to read about it), but another disturbing part of the story is that this was happening in the home of one of the boys, with his parents present at least some of the time. They said they thought Junko was his girlfriend, and/or they were too scared of their son to say anything.

Posted by Zoe on July 28th, 2009
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January 5th:
Ryder Vercoglio
died on January 5th, 2015

Ryder Vercoglio, died at a hospital of blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities say he had suffered abuse at his home.Paramedics had been called to his two days earlier to a report of a child having a seizure. Ryder was taken to Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, where staff called police to report that they suspected child abuse. The boy died at the hospital. William Bolin, was charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter and aggravated battery to a child. Authorities say he was the boyfriend of Ryder's mother and living with her at the time the boy was injured. Ryder's mother who was at work when paramedics were called.

Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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Esther Anuhya
died on January 5th, 2014

24yo Anu from India worked as a software engineer and enjoyed singing, reading Manga, and watching Korean films. Anu spent Christmas with her family and was returning home. Her train arrived to Mumbai at 5AM; normally she would have waited till daylight at the station, and then taken a bus home. Instead, Anu accepted a ride from a stranger. According to witnesses, "she must have refused to ride on the motorcycle, but he took her stating he too was going towards Andheri and would drop her for a meager amount and under duress, as he put her bag on the motorcycle, she must have ridden the bike." When Anu protested that he was taking her in the wrong direction, he robbed, raped, and murdered her, burnt her body, and left it in a ditch.

Posted by Manya on December 28th, 2017
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January 6th:
Maria Colwell
died on January 6th, 1973

Maria Colwell, seven, died in Brighton after being starved and beaten by her stepfather, William Kepple. She had suffered brain damage, a fractured rib, black eyes, extensive external bruising and internal injuries. Maria had been fostered by her aunt and uncle because her mother, Pauline, could not cope with bringing up five children on her own. Five years later Pauline decided she wanted her daughter back. But an inquiry by the Department of Health found that East Sussex county council had insufficient evidence to return the girl. There were 50 official visits to the family, including from social workers, health visitors, police and housing officers. All agencies involved in the case were criticised.

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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