Yeardley Love Case Raises So Many Heartbreaking Questions

Yeardley LoveThe trial of George Huguely V for the first-degree murder of Yeardley Love, the beautiful University of Virginia student, began this week. Plenty of gruesome details and horrifying revelations have been unveiled by witness, but there was one statement among them all that broke my heart like no other. It came from Love's mother, Sharon Love.

While taking the stand, she said, "I talked to Yeardley every day, every single day of her life.” For all the questions as to how Yeardley's death exactly occurred, and if it was actually a first-degree murder, my guess is that her mother, has only one question playing in her mind: "How could I not have known?"

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It's a heartbreaking question that likely will haunt her for the rest of her life, as it would any mother who heard witnesses recount a portrait of an ongoing, violent relationship between Yeardley and Huguely. According to reports, this wasn't a one-time incident gone wrong, but rather a violent end to a tumultuous and dangerous relationship. Months before her death, friends saw him choking her. Prosecutors say that days before her death he sent her an e-mail that read, "I should have killed you." Did she tell no one?

Clearly there should be no blame here for anyone but Huguely, yet I imagine plenty of those close to Yeardley will assign themselves some regardless. Because with hindsight, it looks like something that may have been preventable. But as cases of domestic abuse repeatedly show us, all too often nobody knew just how bad things were, no matter how many signs there were in retrospect -- even mothers who talked to their daughters every single day.

And regardless of how many questions we ask about what might have been, no answer will bring Yeardley back. Even the big question at stake in the trial -- whether it was first degree murder or not -- seems pointless. Yes, it must be asked under the law, and his sentencing is dependent on that, of course. But no matter what the jury finds, it doesn't change one minute of the pain that Yeardley suffered at his hands, nor does it ease one minute of the anguish her family and friends will endure for the rest of their lives.

Have you or someone you know ever been in an abusive relationship? Were you able to help them? Was anyone able to help you?


Image via People

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