Questions and answers you may be wondering about

We appreciate that the subjects of murder, homicide, death and grief are all incredibly confronting and very uncomfortable to talk about and deal with. We hope Taken will enable people to discuss these topics more freely. We have put together some questions and answers not only about the Taken organisation but also about these subjects in general to help provide some insights and guidance. Please feel free to contact us directly if you have a different question you feel we can help with.

New Zealand Law Definition:


Homicide: The killing of a human being by another, directly or indirectly.


Murder: The unlawful killing of a human being with the requisite statutory intention.


Manslaughter: An unlawful killing that is not murder.


Simply put: Homicide is the generic term to describe when one person kills another person, regardless if it was intentional, unintentional, pre-meditated or not pre-meditated. Murder, however, deals with the malicious intent to commit a killing. Manslaughter is also criminal killing but is not murder, because it is not premeditated.

The Taken website provides families and friends with a public and timeless tribute to their loved one taken by homicide. Taken provides a platform through which grief and death can be discussed. Taken also provides a supportive community so that those most affected by homicide need not feel alone in their journey. The ultimate aim of Taken is to inspire positive change in our society, making it a safer and better place.

The website was founded by Alan and Wendy Marshall, who wanted to help other families going through the shock and grief of losing a loved one to homicide. The Marshall's have had to navigate their way through the most difficult and challenging circumstances and from their journey wanted to salvage something good out of a senseless act of violence.

Taken is not their story. It reflects the journey of every family coping with the impact and trauma of homicide and murder. They have identified ways in which they could help others through their grief.

The first way is to provide a place where their taken loved ones can be honoured and remembered still have a voice. This has developed into the Taken tribute website. Providing a community and network of people able to help and assist but also just understand what they are going through was another key element. On the website you will find information about dealing with grief, how to support people who have lost someone to homicide and contact details for other groups and organisations that offer support.

The Marshall's also wanted to provide a forum where homicide, death and grief can be talked about openly and constructively and this will be facilitated through the Facebook site.

The overall aim is encourage people to take stock of these senseless murders and not only reflect on how precious life is but to also see what we can all be doing differently as individuals and as a community to ensure they don’t happen again.

Read more about the Taken team.

There is one primary tribute page that captures all necessary information for a loved one and includes a photo and personal comments.

You can place a tribute here. If the tribute page has already been completed you can add additional personal comments and tributes.

Donations are gratefully received and will help with the administrative costs of the charity - we thank you for your generosity. A percentage of donations will go towards helping victims of crime. One of our beneficiaries is the homicide support services division of Victim Support NZ. One critical area of funding that has been cut recently is assistance for families needing to travel overseas to attend trials. Attending a criminal trial when your loved one has been killed is extremely stressful. When their death has occurred overseas the additional distress of financial costs and isolation are greatly magnified. This financial assistance is imperative to help ease the burden and make it possible for immediate families to consider attending these trials, so we want to help them raise money to facilitate this travel.

Find out how to make a donation.

We recommend a family member writes the primary tribute following the template format. Additional tributes can be added. We are mindful that everyone’s perception of a person is different and also the way in which people express their thoughts and love for someone is different. Taken is a place to honour loved ones who have been taken from us too soon and allow their memory to live on.

Please note that Taken is not responsible for the views or content posted in the tribute. The Trust will of course review the tributes prior to them being posted up to ensure they are in keeping with the site.

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.

To post a tribute, please complete the Tribute form and upload a photo on the Place a Tribute page. Your request will then be sent to our team to upload to the website. If you need to edit any details of the tribute you have posted, please contact the Taken team.

We recommend a family member writes the primary tribute following the template format. Additional tributes can be added. We are mindful that everyone’s perception of a person is different and also the way in which people express their thoughts and love for someone is different. Taken is a place to honour loved ones who have been taken from us too soon and allow their memory to live on.

Please note that Taken is not responsible for the views or content posted in the tribute. The Trust will of course review the tributes prior to them being posted up to ensure they are in keeping with the site.

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information

Yes - tributes can be placed for anyone regardless of what nationality they are and where they were taken.

The bird in the logo is an Albatross.

Albatrosses have long been held in awe by mariners, who call them masters of the oceans.It has been reported that sailors caught the birds, but supposedly let them free again; the possible reason is that albatrosses were often regarded as the souls of lost sailors, so that killing them was supposedly viewed as bringing bad luck.

To New Zealand Maori, albatrosses represented beauty and power. Wearing albatross feathers or bone pendants conferred these qualities on the wearer, usually a person of rank. Garlands of feathers sometimes adorned the prow of waka taua (war canoes). Albatrosses are depicted in cave drawings and in meeting houses.

Albatrosses have been described as “the most legendary of all birds” which we felt was very fitting for the taken logo.

There are a number of ways you can help Taken.

If you have an immediate family member taken by homicide, or you know of someone who has, we would love to have them post a tribute and upload a photo to become part of the Taken community.

We would love your input on our Facebook site. If you would like to donate to Taken, please go to our Donate page

Most importantly we want you to help to make our community a safer and better place. This can be as simple as holding the door open for someone, to taking the time to volunteer. We want these acts of kindness to be a part of our everyday life. Positivity is catching so if we “pay it forward” we are going to leave someone else feeling good which hopefully spurs them on to do the same. This is the ‘ripple effect’ in a reverse positive action.

We want to encourage personal responsibility. This is taking responsibility for our own actions, attitudes and choices.

It is also speaking up when we know someone is not in a safe environment, or who needs encouragement and support.

When someone has been traumatised through the loss of a loved one, especially when sudden death and violence are involved, feelings of isolation and being alone are very strong. It can be difficult to know what to say and do for those who are grieving, they can find it hard to let people in to their lives, often find it difficult to communicate and will tire very easily. Normal rules of engagement have gone.

If you are the key support person your role is different. But mostly it is the small thoughtful things that make the difference.

  • Acknowledge the loss, don't avoid it or them. To say you are sorry, and even that you don't know what to say shows you have courage and that you care
  • Join our Facebook community.
  • Hugs are always good if you can do that
  • Keep visits short
  • Avoid asking if you can do anything because they often can't think straight. (Ask a key support person)
  • See a need and offer to meet that need, or just quietly go about doing it ie: baking, lawns, pick up and deliveries, child care, financial support, driving to doctors appointments, a quiet drive etc. (Or refer to Key support person again)
  • Sending a card
  • Phoning – although do not expect a reply
  • Texting – although do not expect a reply
  • Dropping off food (perhaps just leave it on their doorstep as they might not be ready to see people)
  • ‘Clocking in” regularly after the funeral
  • Using the loved ones name – often we feel the best way to deal with an awful situation is to avoid talking about it but talking often helps the grieving process. We wont and don’t want to forget our loved one so referring to them by name is important.
  • If you know the loved one, reminisce some old times and stories but be sensitive as this can be painful

Yes – we just ask that people are mindful that we are dealing with a highly sensitive subject and to therefore post accordingly.

Please email us at: team@taken.life

Please contact us at team@taken.life and we will be in touch ASAP.

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