Jana Mackey Cause of Death: How Domestic Violence Ended the Life of a Young Activist

Jana Mackey was a 25-year-old law student and women’s rights advocate who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in a brutal act of domestic violence on July 3, 2008. Her death sparked a nationwide movement to raise awareness and prevent gender-based violence, led by her parents and friends who founded Jana’s Campaign. This article will explore Jana’s life, her cause of death, and her legacy.

Who Was Jana Mackey?

Jana Mackey was born on June 9, 1983, in Topeka, Kansas. She grew up in a loving family and had a passion for social justice and human rights. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in women’s studies and political science, and was involved in various organizations and causes, such as the National Organization for Women, the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, and the Kansas Equality Coalition.

She was also a talented musician, a loyal friend, and a devoted daughter and sister. She had a bright future ahead of her, as she was pursuing a law degree at the University of Kansas School of Law, with the goal of becoming a public interest lawyer and a leader in the women’s movement.

How Did Jana Mackey Die?

Jana Mackey had been dating a man named Stephen McDaniel for about a year, but she broke up with him in June 2008, after discovering that he had a history of domestic violence and a criminal record. She tried to end the relationship peacefully and offered to help him get counseling, but he refused and became obsessed with her.

On July 2, 2008, Jana went to McDaniel’s apartment to retrieve some of her belongings, but he did not let her leave. He assaulted her, strangled her, and left her body in his bathtub. He then fled the scene and attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on pills, but he was found by the police and taken to the hospital.

The next day, Jana’s parents reported her missing, and the police searched McDaniel’s apartment, where they found Jana’s body. McDaniel was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, but he hanged himself in his jail cell before he could stand trial.

What Is Jana’s Campaign?

Jana’s Campaign is a nonprofit organization that was founded by Jana’s parents, Curt and Christie Brungardt, and her friends, in 2009, to honor Jana’s memory and continue her work. The mission of Jana’s Campaign is to reduce gender and relationship violence through education, advocacy, and activism.

Jana’s Campaign offers various programs and services, such as:

  • Prevention education for middle schools, high schools, colleges, and communities, on topics such as healthy relationships, bystander intervention, and gender equality.
  • Training and consulting for professionals, such as educators, law enforcement, health care providers, and social workers, on how to respond to and prevent gender and relationship violence.
  • Public awareness campaigns and events, such as Jana’s Walk, Jana’s Ride, and Jana’s Day, to raise funds and mobilize supporters.
  • Policy advocacy and research, to influence legislation and policies that protect and empower survivors and prevent violence.

Jana’s Campaign has reached over 300,000 people in 30 states and 10 countries, and has received numerous awards and recognition, such as the Purple Ribbon Award from DomesticShelters.org, the Visionary Voice Award from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Community Service from Fort Hays State University.

Jana’s Campaign also partners with other organizations and agencies, such as the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, the National Organization for Women, and the One Love Foundation, to amplify their impact and collaborate on common goals.

How Can You Support Jana’s Campaign?

If you are inspired by Jana’s story and want to support Jana’s Campaign, you can do so in several ways, such as:

  • Donating to Jana’s Campaign, either online or by mail, to help fund their programs and services.
  • Volunteering for Jana’s Campaign, either as an individual or as a group, to help with their events, outreach, and administration.
  • Hosting a Jana’s Campaign event, such as a walk, a ride, a concert, or a fundraiser, in your community, school, or workplace, to spread the word and raise money.
  • Joining the Jana’s Campaign network, by signing up for their newsletter, following them on social media, and sharing their resources and messages with your friends and family.
  • Taking action against gender and relationship violence, by educating yourself and others, speaking up and intervening when you see something wrong, and supporting survivors and advocates in your area.

Jana Mackey was a young woman who dedicated her life to making the world a better place for everyone. Her cause of death was a tragic and preventable result of domestic violence, which affects millions of people every year. Her legacy lives on through Jana’s Campaign, which strives to end gender and relationship violence and create a culture of respect and equality. You can join Jana’s Campaign and be part of the solution.