On Sunday 26th November 2006, a 17 year old girl was stabbed to death by her ex boyfriend. This 17 year old was called Laura, a girl I grew up with and my younger sister’s best friend.
Even after all this time, Laura’s senseless murder still shocks me to my core. It is hard to get my head around the fact I will never see her smiling, happy face or hear her warm, bubbly laugh. My family lived opposite Laura’s family. She features in so many memorable moments throughout my childhood.
Laura’s relationship with her ex boyfriend and was tumultuous, even more so after the birth of their son Joseph in November 2005. She frequently confided in my sister about this. There were a lot of arguments. He moved in with Laura’s family. But after arguing with neighbours when drunk he was asked to leave. Joseph’s father reportedly snorted cocaine in front of him.
For the sake of Joseph, Laura ended the relationship with his father. Laura confided in my sister that she was afraid of her ex boyfriend. She feared for her safety and told my sister she had started to write letters to her young son in case something happened to her. Laura started receiving up to 15 phone calls a day from her ex boyfriend. She moved on with her life and had started seeing a new partner.
Laura wanted Joseph to have a relationship with his father. She decided to take Joseph to a museum to spend time with his father. Unbeknownst to Laura, Joseph’s father had come to meet them armed with a 6 inch kitchen knife. He repeatedly stabbed Laura with such force she suffered a broken rib and a punctured skull. It is hard to know that Laura was so brutally murdered. What makes this even more harrowing is that all this took place while Laura had Joseph in her arms. After murdering Laura, her ex boyfriend leaped off the balcony and died as a result of falling from 100ft.
During Laura’s last moments, her only concern was for Joseph. Eyewitnesses reported that Laura shouted for help and for someone to take Joseph. Thankfully, Joseph was unharmed. He is now 9 years old and is growing up without either of his parents.
The statistics surrounding teen dating violence are shocking:
- 1 in 4 teenage girls have experienced abuse by their partners
- 3 in 4 teenage girls have experienced emotional abuse by their partners
- 1 in 3 teenage girls have experienced sexual abuse by their partners
- 16% of teenage boys have experienced sexual abuse by their partners
Laura’s intentions were noble. She wanted Joseph to have a relationship with his father. She had no way of knowing what was going to happen. Hopefully anyone reading this who is in a similar situation can learn from this so that a tragedy like this will never happen again.
If you or someone you know is in a violent relationship there are websites and organisations that can help:
Childline is the UK’s free confidential helpline for children and young people. It is open 24 hours a day and provides confidential advice and support about a wide range of issues.
Rape Crisis Centres provide help and support for women and girls who have been raped or experienced sexual violence. They are available daily 12 – 2.30pm and 7 – 9pm
0808 802 9999
Refuge is a national charity that supports women and children experiencing domestic violence. They are open 24 hours a day.
0808 2000 247
The Men’s Advice Line
For males of any age who are victims of domestic violence. They are open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
0808 801 0327
Think You Know
A website offering advice about sex, relationships and the internet to children and young people.
Gemma is a carer/support worker for disabled children and is passionate about autism awareness. She lives with her husband and dachshund in Wigan, England. Gemma describes herself as a keen gym goer, bookworm and a fan of rock and metal music. On her blog, Lost to the Dark, Gemma blogs about her personal experiences of living with anxiety and depression. She hopes her blog spreads awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression.