It has been said that people are not motivated to look at cyberbullying until they or a loved one becomes a victim of it. This article contains links to general resources mentioned in Part 1 of Cyberbullying Crisis and additional links for a deeper look into the darkness of cyberbullying as well as one attempted suicide in 2000 related to extreme psychological isolation (but absent cyberbullying).
General Resources About Cyberbullying
For a wide range of highly informative sources on cyberbullying, explore any of the following:
Cyberbullying Research Center Has a treasure trove of resources.
Broadband Search Statistics for 2021 and what they mean.
Bullying Statistics Anti-bullying help, facts, and more.
Stopbullying.gov The government’s list of resources about bullying and cyberbullying.
ADL Resources and Warning Signs The Anti-Defamation League has well over 100 years of working to end hate and has a section of its site dedicated to cyberbullying.
National Alliance on Mental Health Covers many aspects of mental health, including those related to cyberbullying. On another note, one piece shows many strangers in a social media thread coming together to prevent a young man from committing suicide.
Audrie Pott’s and Daisy Coleman’s stories are just two of terribly important, endless wakeup calls. The Audrie & Daisy documentary is available for streaming at www.netflix.com or for a small fee at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMq9AL27gmo
Daisy Coleman was raped at age 14 (in 2012) after she was plied with liquor (and possibly a date rape drug) to the point of blackout. Hours after sneaking out to a party, Daisy was discovered by her family on the frozen lawn outside her home, wearing little clothing and with her hair frozen to the ground. Initially, her family thought she was dead. Daisy Coleman later became a counselor and advocate for victims and made a living as a tattoo artist. She committed suicide in 2020, at age 23, after enduring years of cyberbullying and cyberstalking.
When Audrie & Daisy was released in 2016, Daisy was 18 in the interview available at the following link (16 minutes):
Daisy was interviewed again in 2018. Her words show the importance of emotional support after someone is violated. As she says, the treatment she received after the assault was very harmful.
Question: “How did the negative attention [from the sexual assault] have an impact on you at the time and do you think that it would have been different in a post-#MeToo world?”
Daisy: “The negative impact people had on me as only a teenage girl was really detrimental to my self-worth. Everyone goes through a point in questioning who they are when they’re entering high school; I feel like I had double that pressure because everyone had this image at the time of how a survivor should act and how they should be. It was really hard figuring out who I wanted to be while loving myself at that age. I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I had supporters at the time. I had to grow a thick skin at a young age and stand up for myself, and I think that shaped who I am today.” [-emphasis added]
Daisy died in 2020, hours after reporting her nightmare stalker to police:
Four months after Daisy committed suicide, her mother committed suicide:
Audrie Pott, age 15 in 2012, lived in the wealthy community of Los Altos, California, and attended Saratoga High School. At a house, whose owners were away, Audrie drank enough alcohol to be in a blackout when she was sexually assaulted. She didn’t know afterwards what had happened to her and asked for help via social media. Audrie was devastated by the demeaning text messages and posts with photos she received on a social platform and hanged herself 8 days after the assault and receiving.
As a result of the sexual violation of Audrie Pott, her suicide, and the online bullying from fellow students, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Audrie’s Law on September 30, 2014. Audrie’s Law is a law “that increases penalties and decreases privacy protections for teens convicted of sex acts on someone who is passed out from drugs or alcohol or incapable of giving consent due to a disability.”
In addition to the documentary, the story of Audrie Pott and her last tormented days are here:
This example demonstrates that having wealth is no barrier to assaults and that a cyberbullying mob can be so cruel that it drives its target to suicide. A glaring yet common factor in these cases is a complete lack of respect. In a video on YouTube, Daisy Coleman’s brother, Charlie, highlighted the point, thus:
“If there’s one thing in the world I think young men need to learn [and] to carry on through their lives is respect for another.”
So simple, so true, and yet how can people respect others if they have no respect for themselves? Charlie continues:
“. . . it is up to the parents, the role models, the older brothers, the older sisters, to start putting these ideas in kids’ heads that ‘this is not a thing that’s okay.’”
Charlie Coleman’s statement is here:
Transatlantic Cyberstalking: Canadian Amanda Todd Victimized by a Dutch Man in 2012, but Justice is Coming
This story describes trans-Atlantic cyberstalking and bullying at school. The story from the CBC is here:
Amanda Todd killed herself weeks after videotaping a plea help (warning: very hard to watch):
Eight years (in 2020) after Amanda’s suicide, the accused, who had at least 75 targets of cyberstalking and bullying, has been extradited to Canada:
Psychological isolation can be more than dangerous; it can imperil one’s sanity or one’s life. Daisy Coleman and Audrie Pott suffered psychological isolation after their assault. The following is an interview with a man whose bipolar disorder and sense of worthlessness and hopelessness drove him to attempt suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge (no cyberbullying involved).
The phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800 273 8155.
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