Susan ‘Sue’ Graham is the mother of University of Virginia student, Hannah Graham, who was a victim of abduction and murder in September 2014. A native of the U.K., Sue is a lawyer by training and served in a variety of capacities within the British legal system before moving to the U.S. in 2001. Sue serves on the Board of Trustees of the Hannah Graham Memorial Fund, which provides awards to enable students at the University of Virginia to undertake long-term field assignments that promote public health and/or help combat gender based violence in French-speaking developing countries.
My daughter, Hannah, was a second year student at the University of Virginia, and just 18 years old, when she was abducted and murdered by a man she did not know. Hannah loved life and she lived it to the full. She was confident, friendly and trusting, and she had the misfortune to cross paths with evil. My vision is of a world in which young women can embrace life, without fear of sexual violence. My mission is to do all that I can to ensure that what happened to Hannah doesn’t happen to another young woman. I do this work in honor of Hannah, her friends and young women everywhere.
I have lived in the U.S. since 2001 and still struggle with the language differences. Quite apart from the whole “we say tomato, you say tomato” issue, there is “pavement” (in the U.K. that would be the sidewalk, not the road), “chips” (they come with fish in the U.K.), “faucet” (“tap”) and where I come from cars have boots and bonnets, not trunks and hoods. Fortunately I have very understanding friends and they always manage to keep straight faces whenever I inadvertently lapse into British English!