As I tossed a single red rose into the flowing waters of the Mississippi River in remembrance of Kerry and Starla Walters, I realized I had no idea who they were. Walters was found dead in 2009 with her baby in Carleton Place, Ontario just after she finished maternity leave. Like many stories, she and her husband were growing apart and was confiding to girlfriends she was worried what would happen to him if they split up.
“Maybe things weren’t working out the way he wanted,” Kerry Walters’ mother, Carol Taylor, admitted to others. “You know the old scenario — if I can’t have you, no one will.” -CBC News
The bodies of Walters, 25, and her 11-month-old daughter Starla were found hidden in an upstairs bedroom of their Carleton Place duplex hours after Montreal police found the body of her husband, 28-year-old Lennox Walters. Walters had jumped to his death from a 17th floor room of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and the weapon he had used on his family also lay hidden at his former home that was now a crime scene.
Walters graduated military boot camp in Montreal and the couple who had dated for 6 years lived at CFB Cold Lake in Alberta. They later moved to Carleton Place because Kerry had acquired a new job working with people with brain injuries at Vista Centre in Ottawa.
Lennox had told the couple’s roommates, Jason Barrette and Krista Roberts, he and Kerry were taking the baby to Niagara Falls for a couple of days. Many days later no one could reach Kerry on her cellphone. Barrette and Roberts were unaware the bodies of Kerry and Starla were upstairs. Police later made the grim discovery and soon after their story was forgotten.
Amy Paul’s body was discovered in a hay field on Tuesday on the 2900-block of Nixon Roa in the Ottawa area. A farmer using a tractor in his field discovered Paul’s body Tuesday morning and called police. Relatives told CBC News Paul worked in the sex trade– but does that make her less of a woman? Will anyone remember her story next week? If you count the number of women and children in bonded labor, domestic slavery topped with violence or sexual slavery today, there are more slaves in the world than at any other time in history.
These victim’s faces have been forgotten but their personal stories should never be filed away in the back of anyone’s minds. If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms. These growing stories of domestic violence should be the lead story on the news every single night. The public’s outraged voice could change and impact someone’s life and maybe save yet another victim. You can’t change what happened yesterday, but you can certainly change what happens now.
Each dollar you spend at As Good as New Thrift Shop goes to the Lanark County Interval House. By spending or donating money at any domestic-violence charity you will help save someone else. After all, it takes a village and honesty to stop violence. Sending kisses from a rose in memory of yet another victim of domestic violence just has to stop.
Photos by Linda Seccaspina from: Take Back the Night held in Carleton Place, ON. September 20th, 2013
As Good As New Thrift Store
33 Bridge Street, Carleton Place Ontario, K7C 2V2
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We are need in quality fall-winter clothing donations, or if you can volunteer please contact the store. If you have a business that deals in clothing, we would be truly honoured to accept your donations. Not only is it good thrift karma to donate, but cleaning out your closet will inspire mental notes of what you truly (and don’t truly!) need!
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Lanark County Interval House opened in 1979 when it became apparent that even rural women were being assaulted by their husbands. They thought at first they could solve the problem in 10 years and naively wondered if all they had to do was tell people and it would stop. They came to learn how pervasive this violence was and still is.
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