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Documentary Honors Alyssiah Wiley

Published on October 09, 2020

Documentary Honors Alyssiah Wiley

On Oct. 1, the Women’s Center at Eastern Connecticut State University held a viewing of “There’s no Winning in Murder,” a documentary highlighting the life of the late Eastern student Alyssiah Wiley. Narrated by Wiley’s mother, Corrinna Martin, the movie examines domestic violence and the toll it takes on individuals and families.

Symone O’Hara, a student intern in the Women’s Center, welcomed the small, socially distanced audience, and indicated counseling and victim advocacy professionals were on hand for the emotionally stressful event.

The documentary was shown in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month and is a part of Investigation Discovery’s “Impact of Murder” series; it is available at https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/.

Wiley was a vibrant young woman, as described by the people knew her. She was a sophomore and sociology major who was an active member of FEMALES, a student organization that promotes sisterhood, leadership and unity through workshops, seminars and more.

In 2013, Wiley never returned to campus after leaving with her ex-boyfriend. Five five days later she was reported missing. Four weeks later on May 17, 2013, police found her dismembered body in a wooded area in southwestern Connecticut. The boyfriend was the only suspect, but with little DNA evidence against him, it took three trials to convict him.

During that time Martin endured another devastating family loss. In 2017, Martin’s daughter Chaquineaquea Brodie and her 9-year-old granddaughter My’Jaeaha were also murdered in an act of domestic violence.

Sociology lecturer Brenda Westberry, who has played an active role in keeping Alyssiah Wiley’s story alive on Eastern’s campus, teaches a course titled “Violence and Relationships.”

“I think of the words that are often uttered when it comes to situations like this: ‘why don’t you just leave?’ ‘Just get out! Just go!’ It’s not that easy,” said Westberry. “On average it takes 5-8 times for a woman to leave a relationship. When you leave the relationship, that’s the most volatile time for the perpetrator. People act aggressively when they feel their losing power or control.”

Shandra Witke, a graduate intern in the Women’s Center, shared why addressing domestic violence on a college campus is important. “I think it’s important to normalize these types of discussions because it’s a lot more common than people think. Often times when we’re hearing about domestic violence, it sounds like these are isolated incidents and that it’s not that big of a deal,” says Witke. “Normalizing these conversations and making people more aware of how prevalent these issues are is important; people need to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”

Shortly after Wiley’s death, her mother founded Mothers of Victims Equality (MOVE), a non-profit organization that brings awareness to domestic violence and support to its victims. “When Alyssiah was murdered,” said Martin, “I vowed that she would not be another black woman forgotten.”

Martin has committed to keeping her daughters’ and granddaughter’s memory alive and helping to put a stop to domestic violence. “What you thought you took and what you thought you silenced, only made them louder, because my voice is theirs now,” said Martin passionately.

Martin has also produced a short PSA titled, “Can We Talk” which urges people to understand and discuss domestic violence. You can watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZkTbNGaCnQ&feature=youtu.be. In addition, you can visit MOVE at https://www.move-inc.org/.

Martin has also created a petition called “The National Violent Offenders Registry” to keep track of violent offenders who have eluded the judicial system. To sign this petition visit https://www.change.org/p/corrinna-martin-national-violent-offenders-registry-petition?redirect=false

Written by Bobbi Brown