‘Hopefully we can save someone else’

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    Trinette and Crystal Wilton with Azalia Wilson's daughter Kiara (1). The family set up a business to help victims of domestic violence. Photo: Laura Smith

    WHEN Trinette and Crystal Wilton lost their daughter and sister, they felt anger and loss – that part of their lives had been taken away.

    But it was the support of their loved ones and the fond memories of Azalia Wilson which made them want to transform that anger into action.

    Ms Wilson was brutally murdered as a result of domestic violence in November 2019.

    Since then, the family have been thinking of ways to help others who suffered in homes with domestic violence.

    Crystal said she hoped no other families had to go through the “nightmare” they had been through.

    “We don’t want another Azalia case.

    “All we’ve wanted to do, since the day Azalia passed away, was to help people and to not have this happen to anybody else.”

    The family decided to set up a business with all profits donated to domestic violence charities.

    The Azalia Apparel is an online retail store which sells clothing with messages to help raise awareness about the issue.

    “We are creating pieces for a cause we feel deeply about.

    “Those messages – like ‘know the signs’ and ‘stop the violence’ – became our mottos since day one. We want to have messages which make people feel stronger,” Crystal said.

    But it was not easy for the business to come to fruition.

    Since the murder of Ms Wilson, the family have been involved in court trials and proceedings, which they described as a “draining” experience.

    All their energy had been put into pursuing justice for Ms Wilson.

    Last week, this chapter was concluded when Samuel Samson was sentenced to life with a minimum period of imprisonment of 17 years after being found guilty by a jury of murdering Ms Wilson.

    Samson and Ms Wilson had a baby together, now nearly 2-year-old Kiara.

    The family had experienced the pain of a possessive and jealous relationship, but unfortunately they had also experienced the worst outcome, Trinette said.

    Ms Wilson did not speak of her troubles with her family.

    While her family knew she was in a troubled relationship, they did not want to push too hard so as not to drive her away.

    “I always told her that our home was safe,” Trinette said.

    Crystal said the murder of her sister affected her in so many ways.

    Even though she had never had anyone breaking her trust, she feels too scared to start a relationship.

    The whole situation has made her more careful.

    “This whole thing made me more aware of what people are capable of. I’m almost scared of everything.”

    Being so open and public about their struggles meant they constantly opened the memories and pain of the crime.

    However, both women believed it was worthwhile if it meant they could help someone else.

    “I just don’t want anyone to ever have to feel the way I feel,” Crystal said.

    Trinette said many people had reached out to say they had left violent relationships as a result of seeing what happened to her daughter.

    “What happened to us, shouldn’t happen to anyone.”

    They also want to speak of their experience to young women at schools to raise awareness about the problem.

    They would also like to invite people who had any ideas or important messages about the issue to share with them, so the business could reach and help many others, Trinette said.

    “I couldn’t save her, but hopefully we can save someone else.”

    • For more information about the business and to send ideas for clothing, email theazaliaapparel@gmail.com.
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