Saturday 15 December 2018

Girl (14) who was the face of iconic brand dies by suicide after being bullied online

Photo: Facebook/ @AkubraHats
Photo: Facebook/ @AkubraHats

Harriet Agerholm

The father of a 14-year-old girl who took her own life has invited her cyber bullies to the funeral to witness “the complete devastation” caused by her death.

Amy “Dolly” Everett, who as a child had been the face of iconic Australian outback hat company Akubra, was remembered by her family as a “kind, caring and beautiful soul”.

Her parents said their daughter’s death had brought their ”world crashing down” as they launched a social media campaign to tackle cyber bullying.

Dolly’s father, Tick Everett, said in a public Facebook post he wanted to “help other precious lives from being lost”, after her death.

“Dolly will never know the great pain and emptiness left behind,” he said.

“If by some chance the people who thought this was a joke and made themselves feel superior by the constant bullying and harassment see this post, please come to our service and witness the complete devastation you have created.”

Cyber bullying has risen sharply in recent years, according to Australia’s National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB), although overall bullying rates have declined.

Akubra said in a statement it was “shocked and distressed” to hear of the death of the teenager who starred in their adverts.

“To think that anyone could feel so overwhelmed and that suicide was their only option is unfathomable,” they said.

“Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. It is abuse and it is time for us to stand up when we see any kind of bullying behaviour.

“Dolly could be anyone’s daughter, sister, friend. We need to make sure that anyone in crisis knows there is always someone to talk to.”

It added: “Be a friend, check up on your mates. Our hearts go out to Dolly’s family and friends.”

If you have been affected by any issues raised in this article, please contact The Samaritans free helpline on 116 123.

Independent News Service

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