When Yeardley Love died, she was three weeks shy of graduating from the University of Virginia. She was her mother’s pride and joy, her sister’s best friend, and the heart and soul of the UVA lacrosse team. Her many friends say that to know her was to love her. Ironically, her life was ended by someone who claimed he did.
On May third, 2010, Sharon Love found out that her daughter had been beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend. The shock of that moment will stay with her forever: “I’ve said these words countless times in the years since, as I tell our story, yet they still seem as impossible and unimaginable as they did that day,” she says. Like all mothers, Sharon sometimes worried that something bad would happen to her child — an injury on the lacrosse field, for example, or a car accident. That Yeardley would get hurt by her partner had never crossed her mind. “I didn’t know then what I know now, that relationship abuse is a public health epidemic and that young women in Yeardley’s age group are at three times greater risk than any other demographic.”
Sharon misses her daughter every day, but she has used her loss to bring light to others. Together with Yeardley’s sister Lexie, she founded The One Love Foundation, an organization that empowers young people with the knowledge to identify and avoid abusive relationships. Today, One Love is the national leader in preventing relationship violence and abuse. And, as the next generation learns to love better and be with partners who practice healthy love, Yeardley’s legacy lives on, ensuring that the joy she brought to the world lasts forever.