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Mom raises awareness about verbal abuse, domestic violence

When Emma Walker was 16 years old, her ex-boyfriend killed her. Now her mother wants you to know her story and the signs of verbal abuse.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Emma Walker was her mom's joy. 

"Very positive, she always saw the best in people," Jill Walker. 

Emma was a 16-year-old with dreams and after her death her mother, Jill, would learn she left a mark on everyone she met. 

"She wanted to be a NICU nurse so we worked very hard at school," Jill said. "We heard later people would come and tell me stories about how she was always sweet and kind."

Credit: wbir

But in 2016 her life was cut short.

"My daughter was murdered in November of 2016 by her ex-boyfriend," Jill said. "Before that time, we had discovered there was lots of emotional abuse."

Jill said she did notice the red flags she did sit down to talk with Emma about what she was experiencing from her boyfriend.

"Conversations like you don't have parents...you don't have a family...you only have me," she said as she recounted was Emma's boyfriend would say to her.

"She did realize what was going on was negative, and she did break up with him about three weeks prior to her murder." Jill said. 

Years later, Jill now wants you to hear Emma's story.

Credit: WBIR

"You don't want their death to be for nothing," she said. 

Not only to keep her memory alive but so you know that verbal abuse can be deadly too.

"I want young people to be educated," she said. "I want victims to have a voice."

National data shows 1.5 million teens admit to experiencing some kind of dating violence each year. To make people aware Jill's porch, along with many across the country, glows purple in honor of domestic violence victims and those still looking for the light.

Credit: WBIR

The #LightYourPorchPurple Campaign is Marsy's Law for Tennessee's month long initiative to support and honor victims and survivors of domestic violence. Jill is a strong supporter of the law.  

"We need to educate our adults but also our teenagers who don't have the experience to know any better," she said. 

So, when you see that purple light, Remember Jill's words: that you aren't alone' 

And remember the story of Emma.

"She was a cheerleader, but she had a mind of her own...very bright," she said.

Credit: wbir