Lantern Project: Since October 2013, Hope House has joined with other domestic violence programs around the state by implementing the Lantern Project. For our part in this statewide project, we added to the lamppost in front of Hope House a purple wreath. We will turn on the light for a week every time there is a death related to domestic violence in Wisconsin. We will post information online about the person(s) that was killed. If you drive by our building and see our lamppost on, please reflect on the deadly impact that domestic violence has on our communities. We know the list of stories we post here is incomplete. We strive to learn about and share these stories but know that there are some that we and the media miss. If you see a news story of a death in WI related to domestic violence and don't see it posted here, please feel free to let us know about it here. Thank you.
Obituary: "Gonzalez, Ilona 'Nikki' (Nee Benter ) Taken too soon on February 1, 2016 at the young age of 30. Loving mother of Oliver Gonzalez. Cherished daughter of Michael and Jeanette Benter. Proud sister of Mandy. She is further survived by other relatives and many friends. Ilona received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Alverno College, making a lasting impact on the school. Through volunteering, working on the Alverno Alpha and as a recent adjunct instructor, she showed her commitment to education. Ilona encouraged Oliver at his various athletic activities and loved photographing her friends and family"...Read more
News Story: "MILWAUKEE -- A 30-year-old woman was found murdered in her Milwaukee home on February 1st. This tragedy, which police now say was domestic violence related, has left many people shocked. We are now learning more about Ilona Gonzalez, who died as a result of a head injury.
Gonzalez was a mother, an educator, a volunteer and an inspiration, according to her friends, co-workers and former teachers.
While the violent and tragic way in which she died isn't lost on those who knew her, their focus now is on how she lived.
'She always joked about people not being able to spell her name or pronounce her name,' Vanessa Vasquez said.
Vasquez can't help but smile when she talks about her friend Ilona.
'To know her from Alverno, to have that sisterhood off-campus and then become good friends where we could go out for margaritas -- we loved doing that, and talking about our life and our families and our career plans and where we were going,' Vasquez said"...Read more