MP Liz Cunningham unveils the Plaque of Remembrance for victims of domestic violence at Avenue of Peace at Barney Point.
MP Liz Cunningham unveils the Plaque of Remembrance for victims of domestic violence at Avenue of Peace at Barney Point.

Violence takes toll on murdered mum's daughter

A MOTHER in heaven, a father in prison. The toll violence has taken on eight-year-old Makeyla Watson is harrowing.

But the little girl, who is the spitting image of her mother Joelean, has inspired change.

With the help of her grandfather Glenn, Makeyla unveiled a plaque created together for victims of family violence.

It now rests in the aptly named Avenue of Peace in Barney Point.

The tranquil setting will provide solace for victims of past, present and future.

Mr Watson said he hoped the plaque would send a message to help stop domestic violence.

"It's something that will make sure my daughter is remembered forever," he said.

"It is such a precious thing to be able to be able to do this. Victims and their families can come here, sit down and remember or escape."

Following his daughter's death in 2008, Mr Watson said he was appalled at the lenient sentence given to Joelean's murderer.

"We are serving a life sentence, he only serves 17 years," he said.

"That is the hardest part - living the rest of our lives without our daughter."

Nevertheless, now in the full-time care of her grandparents, Makeyla is safe.

If Mr and Mrs Watson's wishes are granted, the bubbly and happy little girl will never have to know another moment of violence in her life.

Instead, she can come to the Avenue of Peace and know her mother made a difference in other's lives.



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