Dad Invites His Daughter's Bullies To Her Funeral After She Took Her Own Life
The dad of a teenage girl who took her own life in Australia last week has invited her cyber-bullies to her funeral to see for themselves the damage caused by her death.
The family of 14-year-old Amy 'Dolly' Everett, who had starred in Australian outback hat company Akubra's adverts as a child, has paid tribute to the girl, calling her a 'kind, caring and beautiful soul'.
As they launched a social media campaign to combat online bullying, Dolly's parents, who live in Katherine in the country's Northern Territory, said their daughter's death last week had brought their 'world crashing down'.
Dolly's dad, Tick Everett, particularly emphasised the importance of the campaign, saying that he wanted to 'help other precious lives from being lost'.
"If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Dolly's life will not be wasted," said Tick Everett in a public Facebook post. "Unfortunately Dolly will never know the great pain and emptiness left behind.
"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."
According to Australia's National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB), cyber bullying has become more and more common with incidences of online abuse rising sharply in recent years.
TV news service 7 News reported that around 3,000 people take their lives in Australia each year, many of them in rural communities.
However, NCAB said that overall bullying rates have declined, suggesting that bad behaviour online is an isolated yet challenging problem.
In a statement, Akubra said that it was 'shocked and distressed' to hear of Dolly's death years after she had been the face of their company.
"To think that anyone could feel so overwhelmed and that suicide was their only option is unfathomable," the outback hat company said.
"Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. It is abuse and it is time for 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 that anyone in crisis knows there is always someone to talk to.
Akubra advised listeners to 'be a friend' and 'check up on your mates', passing its condolences on to Dolly's family and friends.
'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which features a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.
Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.
MIND: 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans: 116 123.
CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.
Australians can call Lifeline on 131114, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 18000 or visit the National Centre Against Bullying website.
Featured Image Credit: Facebook