A brave Australian mother turned to Facebook to share a photo of her daughter lying in a hospital bed after an attempted suicide. Alongside the image, the mother wrote a powerful message to voice her agony. Ever since her post went viral, she has received an outpouring of support from strangers across the globe.
For seven months, Leigh Davey from Perth has been worrying about her 12-year-old daughter, Eva, who has been the subject of ridicule in school.
“In this age of social media, children (because they are children) think it’s ok to send hateful messages (to me also along with their parents who won’t take responsibility) without consequences,” Davey wrote in her Facebook post.
Davey and her family have kept silent about it until things took the worst turn. That’s when Davey posted an image of her daughter.
“Last week we spent over 5 hours in A&E with psychiatrists, doctors and nurses, because our girl ‘had a plan to commit suicide,’” Davey shared.
Following the attempted suicide, Davey applied a violence restraining order to protect Eva, as “parents don’t accept responsibility for their children and schools can only do so much,” she wrote.
The bullies had not only targeted Eva but also her mother. “I’ve had calls from these children calling me an old hag because I’ve defended our daughter, approached parents and pleaded with them to talk with their children and ask them to stop. I’ve even approached the children themselves, but been threatened by parents with harassment,” she wrote.
What’s even more appalling is the school’s refusal to step in to protect Eva. Davey said that the Western Australia’s Department of Education doesn’t expel bullies from school as “every child is entitled to an education.”
“What about our child’s entitlement?” she asked in her post. “She’s been sent home numerous times after self harming at school. She’s not allowed a pencil sharpener as she takes the blade out and cuts herself. The WA department of education also told me. ‘You should teach your child how to be resilient against bullies.’ Yes, they said that.”
In one particular incident, the bullies recorded video of Eva sitting at her desk with her legs slightly open. After which, they uploaded the footage on Snapchat with an upsetting caption. But instead of tracking the person who did the recording, the police spent 90 mins with Davey to investigate if it was “distribution of pornographic material.”
She wrote: “Yes, a 12 year old can be prosecuted if the content breaches certain criteria. Sadly our daughters didn’t, but she was subjected to weeks of ridicule. Repercussions? The girl who posted the video lost her playtime. The person who took the video? Nothing, because no one would tell who it was.”
Davey wrote the post to urge parents to teach their kids to be polite and respectful in their messages.
“Please, in this awful age of social media (or anti social media as we call it) check your children’s messages. Their devices are a priviledge [sic], nothing more, nothing less, so please make sure they are being polite and respectful in their messages. Teach the children to ‘talk’ not use text or social media to air their differences,” she said. “Bullying affects the whole family, not just the bullied. It needs to stop and it needs to stop now!”
Davey’s post has since received over 90,000 reactions and over 33,000 comments, with strangers from around the world leaving messages of encouragement to support Eva and her family.
In an update to her post, Davey thanked all the people for their best wishes and support.
“Leigh and I cannot begin to thank you for all the incredible messages of love and support for our little girl and her situation. From the bottom of our hearts thank you,” she wrote.
“The strength we are taking from your messages is unquantifiable and to say we are overwhelmed and humbled at the outpouring of support is an understatement!”
Photo Credit: Facebook | Leigh Davey.