Predators targeted Julie (18) on sun holiday with friends
The heartbroken parents of a teenage girl who took her own life after being raped and sexually assaulted are advising young people to watch out for predators.
Anna Crowe's daughter, Julie Crowe (18), from Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, died by suicide three months after returning home from a holiday to Zante, in Greece, in August, where she was sexually assaulted in her sleep.
She said Julie, who had just finished her first year in college, was excited as she had never gone on a trip abroad with friends before.
However, the excitement was short lived as five days into the holiday, Julie was assaulted twice by two different men in a nightclub, before she was then raped by a third man in a separate incident two nights later.
The first assault happened when a man forced his tongue into her mouth, and the second occurred later on in the night when she was on the way to the club bathroom.
Julie told her mother another man had pushed her up against a wall, and attempted to put his hand in her underwear.
After a struggle, she ran into the bathroom where she locked herself in a toilet.
She later returned to her friends on the dance floor.
Julie was then assaulted two nights later by a man her friends had brought back to their apartment after a night out.
Julie, who was asleep when the assault happened, made an appointment with her college counsellor after her friends remembered finding the man in the room when checking on her.
"It was on foot of that session that he refused to let her leave without her ringing one of her parents," Ms Crowe told RTÉ Radio One's 'Liveline' yesterday.
"She phoned me in work and said, 'mum, I've something more to tell you. I was raped in Greece'."
Julie received medical assistance, and reported the incident to gardaí.
On November 4, Julie told her parents that she didn't feel well enough to go to college.
Later that day, Julie's body was found by her father Gary after he read a letter she had left detailing where she would be.
"The worse thing was she had been doing so well.
"She told everybody. Everybody she talked to said she had been handling it really well," Mr Crowe said.
Now they are sharing Julie's story to make parents and young people aware of potential predators.
"It's not to sensationalise the trauma of what she suffered," Ms Crowe said.
"It's in the hope that maybe parents and young people will be just aware that there are predators out there targeting young guys and girls.
"I do believe Julie was targeted in the sense that she was just so innocent.
"She is the victim of tragic circumstances," she added. "She was in the wrong place, with the wrong people at the wrong time."
If you have been affected by any issues raised in this article, you can contact Samaritans helpline 116 123, or the Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 778 888