Cyber-bullies still target girl, 15, who killed herself
Monday 15 October 2012
A teenage girl found hanged after posting a harrowing video on YouTube, describing how she was victimised by cyber-bullies, is still the target of online abuse
Amanda Todd, 15, was found dead at her home in British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday in an apparent suicide. Her fate shocked people across the country but the cyber-attacks are continuing, with spiteful messages and images posted on Facebook pages set up in her memory.
Last month, Amanda posted online a nine-minute black and white video, "My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm", revealing her years of secret torment.
Using notecards, she silently told how she was lured into showing her breasts in an online chat-room to a man who then spread the image on the web.
She also told how she was confronted by another girl in an argument about a boy, and was beaten up in front of a crowd and left lying in a ditch. Amanda said she had turned to drugs and alcohol and had twice tried to take her own life, once by drinking bleach.
She said the bullying forced her to move city but abusers continued to target her through Facebook. The clip ended with a harrowing image of her cut arm. Beneath, Amanda posted a note saying she produced it not for attention, but "to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. Everyone's future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I'm still here, aren't I?"
Amanda's mother, Carol Todd, of Port Coquitlam, near Vancouver, said she wanted the video to warn others of the dangers of cyber-bullying. The teacher told the Vancouver Sun: "Amanda was a very caring individual. One of Amanda's goals was to get her message out there and have it used as a learning tool for others."
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they were investigating the circumstances of Amanda's death as well as the continued abuse being posted online. More than 20 investigators are working on the case. After her death, two memorial Facebook page received almost a million "likes" and #RIPAmanda trended across Twitter.
But "trolls" reposted the topless pictures on the pages, along with other mocking images and comments that Amanda had deserved the abuse from cyber bullies because of the topless photo.
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