West Valley City, Sandy raise awareness of domestic violence
West Valley City • Cherie Beam didn't report her ex-boyfriend for raping her.
"I was one of these girls who thought, 'It was my fault,'" Beam explained. "My brother was in the next room, and I just couldn't say anything. It was like I didn't have a voice."
Beam has tried to break her silence since she was attacked in her own bed at age 19. Now 33, she joined about 40 others Tuesday night in West Valley City's domestic violence-awareness march and reception at City Hall.
"People don't actually see other people going through this, so they don't think it happens to anyone else like them," Beam said.
But in the lobby of West Valley City Hall, 46 life-sized, red metal silhouettes presented a chilling reminder. Every victim of domestic-violence homicide in the city's history is represented.
The first was Diane Reightley, who was bludgeoned to death by her husband in 1983. A silhouette of a man represents Tyrone Tsosie, 23, who was shot to death by his brother during a fight in 2005. Several silhouettes of babies crawling represent infants killed by child abuse, including 4-month-old Carter Andus, who died of massive brain trauma in 2011. His father has been charged in his death.
"They remind us what's at stake. The safety of our community," said City Attorney Ryan Robinson.
Police Chief Lee Russo noted that the effects of domestic violence extend well beyond the individual victims.
"One in 10 domestic calls to police are placed by a child in the home," Russo said.
Mayor Mike Winder urged victims of domestic violence to come forward.
"Anyone out there living in a situation of abuse: Make that phone call," Winder said. "These are preventable deaths."
The city of Sandy also celebrated Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Tuesday with a ceremony in honor of 298 victims last year. Balloons were released, and the city launched a YouTube video campaign in support of victims called, "Find Your Voice."
"If we ever hope to combat domestic violence, we have to raise awareness to the importance of speaking out, whether you are a victim or a witness or even just suspect abuse," said Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan.
A domestic violence hot line is available at 1-800-897-LINK.
Remembering the victims
Forty-six red, life-sized silhouettes are on display in West Valley City, representing 46 people killed by domestic violence in the city's history.
Here are the victims:
Diane Reightley, 28, was beaten to death by her husband April 2, 1983.
Ruth Foster, 38, and Trudy Weaver, 17, were shot to death by Foster's boyfriend Aug. 29, 1983.
Amber Rhoades, 2 months, was killed Feb. 22, 1985, by her mother's boyfriend; he was angry with her for crying.
Melissa Chapman, 6 months, died Oct. 15, 1986, after her father raped her.
Anne Maria Webb Volker, 18, had been kidnapped in Colorado and brought to West Valley City by her boyfriend. He shot and killed her Jan. 18, 1987.
Susan Quas, 35, was shot to death by her husband June 15, 1987.
Brent Russell, 29, was shot to death July 30, 1987, by his girlfriend.
Maureen Turner, 41, and Bonnie Craft, 18, were ambushed by Turner's boyfriend Jan. 22, 1988, at their home after an argument. He stabbed both women to death.
Salimu Aiono, 30, was shot to death April 16, 1990, by her husband.
Jayleen Kilgrow, 31, was strangled and shot by her husband July 1, 1991.
Jade Montano, 2, was shaken to death by her father. She died Aug. 29, 1991.
Susan Sessions, 31, and Charles Timberman, 43, were shot Nov. 2, 1991, by a roommate who was under the influence of drugs.
Senitila Taylor, 22, died Jan. 11, 1992, after her husband attacked her and slammed her head into a door.
Joanne Marquez, 34, died March 21, 1993, after her husband stabbed her multiple times.
Alex Cisneros, 7 months, died June 10, 1993. His mother poisoned him with carbon monoxide.
Micki Lee Jensen, 33, was strangled unconscious by her boyfriend, who then shot and killed her in front of her 5-year-old daughter on Nov. 11, 1993.
Kameron Bright, 3, was beaten to death by his mother April 3, 1994.
Denise Moray, 31, was shot to death by her husband Jan. 12, 1995.
Amy Vanderveen, 20, was shot to death by her estranged husband Aug. 7, 1995.
Arletta Ferdynus, 15, was shot to death by her boyfriend Aug. 13, 1997, because she was pregnant.
Sabrina Elder, 17, was shot to death by her boyfriend Dec. 9, 1998, five days after she had given birth to a baby.
Jonni Behning, 16, went to her boyfriend's apartment Feb. 19, 1998, to talk to him after a break-up, despite her family's protests. While she was there, he shot her multiple times in the back.
Brianna Williams, 1, was smothered June 9, 2000. Her father was charged but acquitted.
Mineva Sekona Finau, 37, died May 6, 2001, after her husband beat her over the head with a set of dumbbell weights.
Loretta Romero, 38, was shot to death Dec. 28, 2002, by her boyfriend because he was angry with her after she spent an evening out with friends; the boyfriend claimed he forgot the shotgun was loaded when he fired it.
Amy Jensen, 29, was found dead by family members Jan. 27, 2002, in her kitchen; her husband had shot her to death and then killed himself. Jensen had told friends she was afraid her husband would kill her.
Tammy Seely, 33, died Feb. 23, 2003, when her estranged husband shot her in front of all of her children.
Shelly Pack, 54, was shot to death Jan. 5, 2003, by her husband, who then killed himself.
LaRae Marara Sullivan, 33, and Kehaulani Niu Sullivan, 4, were stabbed to death by LaRae's husband; their bodies were found Feb. 21, 2003.
Carson Williams, 4, died Oct. 19, 2004, after he was beaten by his mother's live-in boyfriend; the boyfriend claimed the boy was injured in a tricycle crash.
Theresa Harris was shot and killed Jan. 2, 2005, by her ex-husband when she dropped by to deliver some groceries; her husband then killed himself.
Laurel Kilpatrick Quibell, 59, was shot to death May 10, 2005, by her husband, who then drove to a KOA campground in Salt Lake City and shot himself.
Norma Espinoza, 27, was stabbed multiple times by her girlfriend's estranged husband on June 11, 2005.
Tyrone Tsosie, 23, was shot to death by his brother during an argument Oct. 7, 2005.
Jeremiah Allred, 25, was stabbed to death Oct. 28, 2005. The 15-year-old brother of his estranged wife was charged, but the teen has not been located.
Shuree Lawson Baarsma was strangled by her boyfriend Nov. 13, 2006.
Steven J. Doolittle, 41, was stabbed to death on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, 2009, by his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend.
Maralee Andreason, 55, was beaten to death March 9, 2010, by her boyfriend.
Joseph Hewitt, 65, died July 2, 2010, after he was pushed down the stairs by his nephew.
Carter Andus, 4 months, died April 21, 2011 of massive brain trauma; his father was charged with his murder.
William Seager, 58, died Oct. 31 after a fight with his adult son.
An infant died in a domestic violence homicide in 2011. No further details were available.
Thai Le died Sept. 3 of stabbing wounds. His girlfriend has been charged with murder.