Sadly, bullying in all its many insidious and horrible forms exists everywhere in the world. It is a common threat in schools, family circles, and even in the workplace. The real danger is that the people who suffer from this kind of abuse often hide their pain. This is the worst thing to do, because simply dealing with the negative influence on your own is like a ticking time-bomb, just waiting for the right time to explode.
If you have had the chance to see the famous Australian hat manufacturer Akubra’s commercials some years back, you probably remember the little girl that took part in a few of them. Her name was Amy Everett; she was nicknamed “Dolly”, and she sadly took her own life last week at the tender young age of 14. The reason for her shocking decision was the continuous bullying she suffered via social media platforms. Her family wanted to make a tribute to her beautiful and kind personality by launching a campaign against the newest form of harassment—online bullying. The girl’s parents, who live in a Northern Australian Territory town, stated in their own words that their whole reality was shattered into tiny bits after the tragedy.
Their idea was to try and raise awareness about the problem. Unfortunately, many people seem to not even be aware that such a form of harassment exists, nor how devastating it can be and often is for anyone who is abused in such a cruel fashion. Our modern society needs to address the issue and create ways to deal with it, because people are literally losing their lives over the kind of treatment that others believe to be merely child’s play. Things were serious enough already before the internet, and the increasingly prevalent online presence of people makes it easier than ever for bullies to pick on their victims.
Tick Everett, the father of the young girl, wanted to make sure that everyone understood how big of a problem online bullying is, as well as just how important such a campaign may be, saying that many lives could be saved this way. He also said that a relatively large percentage of the people who suffer from this kind of abuse are probably close to the decision his daughter made, and this obviously should not be acceptable in today’s society. His public Facebook post was heartbreaking, as Tick described the pain and the emptiness that was left after Dolly’s loss. He went on and suggested that anyone who thought that abusing someone over the Internet was funny was welcome to attend the funeral service of his younger daughter, in order to see in person what kind of irreversible damage online bullying can result in.
There is an Australian organization called NCAB (National Center Against Bullying). According to the organization’s specialist, online bullying has become a widely spread activity, and it affects people in multiple ways. The cyber abuse cases have multiplied during the last couple of years. The official statistics show that nearly 3,000 people take their own lives because of similar abuse, and many of them live in rural communities. The numbers seem staggering, but the NCAB reports that there is actually a decline in those cases; still, the online bullying is still a challenge to be taken on, and measures are needed against such a serious problem.
The above mentioned hat brand Akubra has released a statement after the tragic event, saying that everyone in the company is completely shocked about the case and could not believe that Dolly was dead. They still considered her one of the significant faces of the company due to the successful advertising campaign. Their statement said that it is very hard to comprehend the fact that people could feel so bad deep inside that in their mind that suicide might actually become the only way out—the only way out that they can see, anyway.
The management of the hat brand also stated that bullying in any form is not acceptable and it is a far bigger problem than people realize. The bullies themselves probably do not see the actual damage they create when they are doing what they do. People need to stand against this kind of abuse, because the victim could be anyone’s sister, daughter, or other relative; also, there could be no reason to believe something is going on until it is too late, which is what happens in most cases. All victims of bullying really and truly need to know that they should talk to someone immediately when they feel distressed, abused, or threatened in some way.
Akubra also passed their sincere condolences to Dolly’s family and friends.
The approach to fighting bullying really needs to be two-fold. First, people need to be educated that it is wrong to be a bully and to pick on weaker people for no reason or just for fun; second, it needs to be constantly reiterated to victims of bullying that talking about the problem is the only genuine way to solve it. Abused people choose to not talk about it out of fear or simply or because they feel ashamed, which is truly tragic.
H/T – Source