Image courtesy of the video “My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm.”
A flashcard with the word “Hello” and a heart exclamation mark greet viewers to a nine minute black and white YouTube video entitled “My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm.” The 15-year-old teenage girl in the video is Amanda Todd who took her life on Wednesday Oct. 10 in Port Coquitlam, B.C., after being tormented by bullies for years. The RCMP has launched an investigation into the case and the Port Coquitlam school district says they were aware of the video. A Facebook memorial page has been set up and has already attracted over 2,000 likes.
During the video posted about a month ago, Todd flips through flashcards detailing the chronology of events outlining her ordeal. She does not speak during the video, but wrote, “I have nobody . . . I need someone =(.” The nine minute video finishes with a final flashcard that reads, “My name is Amanda Todd . . .” followed by a picture that is shown of what is allegedly her arm with about 11 self-inflicted incisions.
Todd writes in her video that her bullying began after she was asked by a man from a chat room to flash her chest. A year later the same man allegedly messaged her on Facebook, claiming that if she did not put on a show for him he would send her exposed picture to her family members and friends. Todd writes that she had no idea how he tracked her down, but somehow he had all the names and addresses of the people closest to her. When she did not comply with his ultimatum he sent the photo. And this was just the beginning of her horror story.
After the photo went viral, Todd had to change schools several times after being tormented by her classmates. She writes that she lost the respect of her family and friends and developed anxiety. She started taking alcohol and drugs. She took antidepressants and counseling. This past summer, she overdosed on a substance and had to stay in a hospital for two days. A year after the picture was sent out, the man came back with a new list of friends and family members. Instead, he created a Facebook page and posted her naked picture as his display picture.
At her new school, Todd was beaten by a group of schoolmates in front of her school and her father found her in a ditch. The attack was filmed and her bullies wrote on Facebook, “She deserved it” and “I hope she’s dead.” She writes that she wanted to die “so bad” that when she arrived home that day she drank bleach and was sent to the hospital. Her cyber bullies followed her everywhere. They tagged her in a photo of bleach cans and shared her naked photo everywhere she went.
Todd couldn’t run away from her bullies, but she took a stand and exposed her story. Although she did not make it, her courage lives on in her video. Forever may she rest in peace. M
How can bullying be prevented? Comment below to share your opinions with us.