A 14-year-old Australian girl has taken her own life after being ‘overwhelmed’ by abuse from cyberbullies.
As the face of Akubra hats, Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett was in the public eye for much of her altogether too-short life.
While her fledgling career was promising, she also suffered greatly at the hands of bullies online and took her own life on January 3, 2018.
The grief-stricken family of the young girl – whom everyone called Dolly – have posted an emotional tribute inviting the vile social media trolls to her funeral to see the ‘devastation’ they’ve caused.
Her father, Tick Everett, thanked social media users for their support, writing:
I would like to thank everybody for their kind and suportive [sic] words over the last few days, it is truly amazing.
I also apologize that there are so many kind words I have not yet replied to, so instead of wearing out another screen or keyboard I would like to offer my thanks in one big message.
This week has been an example of how social media should be used, it has also been an example of how it shouldn’t be. If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Doll’s life will not be wasted.
I know for some suicide is considered cowerdly [sic] but I guarantee those people wouldn’t have half the strength that my precious little angel had, Doll had the strength to do what she thought she had to do to escape the evil in this world.
Amy’s father continued:
However, unfortunately, Dolly will never know the great pain and emptiness left behind. In saying this I have a couple of challenges.
Firstly, if by some chance the people who thought this was a joke and made themselves feel superior by the constant bullying and harassment see this post, please come to our service and witness the complete devastation you have created.
The second is for the strong ones, let’s stop the bullies no matter where, but especially in our kids, as the old saying goes, you will never know what have untill [sic] it’s gone.
The family, including her sister, Meg and mother, Kate, have promised Dolly’s short life won’t be a ‘waste’ and have decided to use her story to help combat bullying.
Sharing a message of solidarity with other victims of bullying, Tick began a hashtag, ‘Speak now even if your voice shakes’.
Akubra Hats also shared a tribute to Dolly, writing:
This is not an easy post to write. We were shocked and distressed to hear of the passing of “Dolly” – the young girl many of you will recognise from our past Christmas adverts.
Dolly chose to end her life last week due to bullying. She was not even 15-years-old. To think anyone could feel so overwhelmed and this was their only option is unfathomable. Bullying, of any type, is unacceptable.
It’s up to us to stand up when we see any kind of bullying behaviour. Dolly could be anyone’s daughter, sister, friend.
We need to make sure anyone in crisis knows there’s always someone to talk to.
Be a friend, check up on your mates.
Dolly’s death, tragically, is indicative of a global cyberbullying epidemic which has claimed many lives.
Lucy Alexander’s son, Felix, took his own life in April 2016 as the result of six years of persistent bullying.
This is her story:
Akubra concluded by sharing their condolences with the Everett family, from Katherine in the Northern Territory, adding:
Our hearts go out to her family and friends.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free, on their anonymous 24-hour phone line, on 116 132.