Yeardley Love, a college lacrosse player at the University of Virginia, was just weeks away from graduating college in May 2010.
But on May 3, 2010, Love died at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, UVA men’s lacrosse player George Huguely V, after she suffered a fatal blow to the head.
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UVA’s lacrosse coach, Julie Myers, said that “Yeardley was the player who always made everyone feel better. What I will always remember about her is her smile and her readiness to play anything we asked of her.” Join the One Love Movement to create a culture in which relationship violence is nonexistent. Bring the movement to your campus community: www.joinonelove.org/join-the-movement
Following Love’s death, her mother, Sharon Love, created the One Love Foundation. According to its website, the foundation:
“[W]orks with young people across the country to raise awareness about the warning signs of abuse and activate communities to work to change the statistics around relationship violence.”
Sharon believes that had a foundation like One Love existed when her daughter was involved in an abusive relationship, it may have helped prevent her death.
Yeardley’s friends agreed, saying that when they look back at her relationship with Huguely, they noticed different signs of abuse but never connected the dots until it was too late.
Fortunately, the One Love Foundation is making sure that other women like Yeardley don’t have to face the same fate she did.
Annie King is one woman who was saved by Yeardley’s story.
According to People magazine, King was 21 years old, fresh out of college, and in love. She recalled:
“It was the highest of highs.”
It was when King moved in with her significant other that things started to change.
She detailed those changes in a video produced by One Love Foundation:
“Sometimes, he would tailgate me in his car, he became forceful sexually, but after every outburst, he would send me flowers [or] write me really long emails.”
If you ask King how her relationship got to this point, she wouldn’t be able to answer that question. However, she does remember the moment she knew her life could be cut short if she didn’t get out of her relationship fast.Screenshot/One Love Foundation
It was August 2010, just months after Love was murdered, and King was sitting in the doctor’s office. She started reading the cover story in a May issue of People magazine. She explained:
“Seeing Yeardley [Love] on the cover of People Magazine and after reading the article, [I realized] that could happen to me.
A few months later, after that day at the doctor’s office, we were out drinking with friends. I sensed what was coming. So when he got home, I let him know that I wanted to sleep on the couch that night. Immediately, he grew angry, he picked me up, threw me on the other side of the couch…”
King said she tried to run out of the house, but he grabbed her by her clothes and pulled her back in.
As King lay on the ground, her boyfriend had one hand on her forehead and the other hand inside her mouth, gagging her. As the magazine cover with Love’s face on it flashed in her mind, she thought:
“He’s going to kill me on accident right now.”
King said that was the first time she ever screamed for help. Thankfully, as People reports, a concerned neighbor heard her screams and called the police. When King heard the sirens, she knew she was going to be OK.
It was that night that she got out of her abusive relationship. In the six years since, King has been volunteering with the One Love Foundation.
The foundation reports that “one in three women and one in four men in the United States experience a violent relationship during their lifetime.”
There are warning signs that a loved one could be in an abusive relationship. Some questions to ask include:
- Is she spending less time with friends or less time doing things that she once enjoyed?
- Does the significant other get very jealous or possessive?
- Does the significant other threaten to hurt them, or has the partner hurt them physically?
- Has the victim told you things about the significant other that worry you, but says “it’s not a big deal” or makes excuses for their partner?
- Does the victim have injuries tied to stories that don’t add up?
One Love’s CEO, Katie Hood, told People that the foundation “exists because Yeardley was killed and her death was avoidable.”
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“If we can label the behaviors of abuse, and break it down into pieces that are accessible to young people, then we can take the emotional abuse zone–which is filled with excuses–and start making it black and white." – Katie Hood Sharon Love and Katie Hood, CEO of One Love, spoke with @NOMOREorg about Yeardley's memory and how One Love is taking a stand against relationship violence. Check out our Facebook and Twitter for the article!
So by working to share the warning signs of an abusive relationship to as many people as possible, they are making it so that “others have [the] information that Yeardley and her friends did not about unhealthy and dangerous relationships.”
Huguely, who claimed the murder was an accident, is currently serving 23 years in prison.