The University of Virginia has such a beautiful campus. It is not the type of college where you expect your daughter to be murdered. And yet, Yeardley Love was murdered while attending this college, allegedly by student George Huguely.
Yeardley had already broken up with George Huguely at the time of her murder. It seems he allegedly did not handle the break up well. Sometimes, ending a relationship is very dangerous for women; sometimes deleting someone from your life ends in your murder.
There are usually many signs along the path to a murder by a current or former romantic partner. It is critically important to break up with someone at the first sign of violence or abuse. Things will not get better in that relationship.
Yeardley Love’s Ex-Boyfriend George Huguely Had Prior Arrest
In 2008, Huguely was arrested for public intoxication and resisting arrest. He was verbally abusive and made death threats to the female arresting officer, reports the Washington Post. The officer calmed him down with a taser.
Speak Out and Get Help if Abused
The President of the University of Virginia has responded to the death of Yeardley with a request to the student population. He told them to alert him if they experience abuse or witness it happening to someone else. He said “Come talk to me, seek support that belongs to you, because you belong to us.” Let’s hope this advice will save some lives.
UVA denies knowlege of the alleged killer’s prior arrest and violence. Why didn’t the officer who arrested him notify the college?
Never Keep Abuse a Secret
However, sometimes when kids reach out for help colleges don’t report the crime, they keep it hush hush to try to quell a storm of negative public relations for the college. Thus, if you are abused always tell multiple sources. Tell friends, tell the college, tell the police, and tell your parents. Never keep abuse a secret. That too often leads to death via murder.
Yeardley would want you to speak out if you are being abused. Perhaps her murder will be the reason why many college people will take action if they also are being abused in a romantic relationship.
RIP Yeardley Love
RIP Yeardley Love. You had your whole life in front of you and it has been stolen it from you. Your face glowed with energy and joy. It is easy to see you loved life. And now you are gone.
Some visiting lacrosse players from the University of North Carolina had to haul her ex-boyfriend off Yeardley at a party when he was too aggressive, reports the Washington Post. Why didn’t someone at that party notifiy UVA of this athlete’s violence?
Speak out if you see someone abused. Take action; you may save a life. Violence often gets worse. Any sign of physical violence is a red flag warning that a murder may occur in the future.
Could the Murder Have Been Prevented?
The sad answer is that yes, perhaps this murder could have been prevented. If the campus had been notified of Huguely’s arrest perhaps he would have been booted from the college. If Yeardley’s friends had reached out to campus authorities about the alleged violence of Huguely (she had to have confided in someone) perhaps UVA could have taken action to keep Huguely away from Love.
Claire Kaplan, director of Sexual and Domestic Violence Services at UVA’s Women’s Center had recently spoken to athletic management at the college about violence and student athletes.
And then Yeardley was allegedly murdered by another athlete. Kaplan states in USA Today: “If there was a pattern of violence, did she reach out to anyone at all, did she reach out to friends who didn’t know what to do? Or was she stuck in her silence?” She adds: “Did anyone speak out? Did people say to her, Yeardley, you are not safe with this person?”
The Daily Progress, in Virginia, reports that UVA’s President Casteen stated “Violence and abuse, left unconfronted, can and will destroy this culture that we love.”
So, college students, speak to campus authorities and the police if you know someone is being abused. This is too big a problem for you to handle on your own. Seek expert help to help your friend or yourself make it through a tough time.