During seventh grade, Amanda loved to talk to and meet new people through video chats and one day,
a stranger convinced her to take her top off on camera, which she impetuously did. Later on, the stranger threatened to post her topless photos online if she didn’t give him a “show”. Amanda refused to comply and during the next Christmas break, she received a knock on her door at 4 A.M.
It was the police, who had come to inform her that her photo was circulating all around the internet. She was devastated. The news pushed her into a world of unhappiness - a world of depression, anxiety and panic disorders, and the only solace she found was in the overuse of drugs and alcohol. To alleviate things, her family moved away from the city, hoping to start life afresh.
A year later, however, the stranger resurfaced with a fake Facebook profile and spread Amanda’s photo
throughout her new school and her new life, forcing her to change schools again. The incident was forgotten, a month passed and for the first time in years, Amanda was happy. She even started overcoming her anxiety.
She got in touch with an old friend who expressed an interest in her. She genuinely thought that he liked
her and she went and got together with him while his girlfriend was away. A week later, the girlfriend
and her entourage arrived at Amanda’s new school and punched her repeatedly, in front of everybody. Frustrated with her life and the way she was treated, Amanda drank bleach to end it all. She was rushed to the emergency room and fortunately, she survived and recovered.
Following her recovery, she discovered abusive messages all over Facebook. People had posted things
like, “She should use a different bleach next time” and “She deserves to die”. Amanda moved again, to try and start anew, but she was still haunted by her past. Hurtful messages were being posted to Social Networking sites, even six months after the episode and on October 10, she was found dead in her home. Post mortems have confirmed that it’s a case of suicide.
Amanda lost her life to cyber bullying and in the days preceding her suicide, she posted a video on YouTube, telling her story. She was just a 12 year old, who didn’t know the ramifications of what she was doing. How could she know? She was just a child and even after all she went through, she tried her best to maintain a healthy attitude towards life, as is evident from her YouTube video’s
“I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I'm not doing this for
attention. I'm doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to
make pain go away, because I'd rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don't
hate, although im sure I'll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I'm still here aren't I?”