Akubra girl Amy “Dolly” Everett suicide shock
Akubra is one of the most iconic Australian brands and as a hat company they have lost a face that was part of their brand, Amy “Dolly” Everett, born on 1st May 2003, was tormented by cyber bullies leading to her suicide on January 3. Akubra has posted a moving tribute of the 14-year-old Northern Territory girl writing, “This is not an easy post to write. We were shocked and distressed to hear of the passing of “Dolly” – the young girl many of you will recognise from our past Christmas adverts. This beautiful photo was taken 8 years ago.Dolly chose to end her life last week due to bullying. She was not even 15 years old. To think that anyone could feel so overwhelmed and that this was their only option is unfathomable. Bullying of any type is unacceptable. It is up to 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. Be a friend, check up on your mates.Our hearts go out to her family and friends.” In your blogger’s view, this is a clear case that children and teenagers in Australia are likely to fall victim to cyberbullying because of poor protections and low awareness among parents and children.By definition, cyberbullying is when someone repeatedly makes fun of another person online or repeatedly picks on another person through email or text messages, or when someone posts something online about another person that they do not like. Her father, Tick Everett’s described Amy “Dolly” Everett as “precious little angel”.Mr Everett said his daughter was bullied so badly she felt she needed to “escape the evil in this world”.“I know for some suicide is considered cowardly but I guarantee those people wouldn’t have half the strength that my precious little angel had,” Mr Everett wrote on Facebook, in a message also signed by his wife Kate and elder daughter Meg.“Unfortunately Dolly will never know the great pain and emptiness left behind,” he wrote.
Mr Everett urged people to stop bullying and share this photo of his daughter to spread awareness about the issue, using the hashtag #StopBullyingNow.He also lashed out his daughter’s bullies head on.“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,” he wrote.“The second is for the strong ones, lets stop the bullies no matter where, but especially in our kids, as the old saying goes. You will never know what have until it’s gone.”Mr Everett appreciated those who had reached out to the family since Dolly’s death and offered their support.“I would like to thank everybody for their kind and supportive words over the last few days it is truly amazing,” Mr Everett wrote.“This week has been an example of how social media should be used, it has also been an example of how it shouldn’t be.“If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Doll’s life will not be wasted.” In the wake of another tragic death of Amy “Dolly” Everett, there’s urgent for early intervention and more education that hold the key to preventing cyber bullying.Despite anti-bullying legislation across Australia, evidence shows the best way to stem bullying is early identification of aggressors and their victims coupled with education programs.Your blogger think education is what children need and the earlier kids can get in to prevent another Amy “Dolly” Everett case, the healthier Australian children will be.I also have a feeling that if schools committed to becoming bully-free zones and offer programs that teach children how to develop healthy relationships, including through role-playing, perhaps such cases can reduce.A lot of kids have never had direction on online use especially social media. They don’t understand the impact of their actions, so what a parent or school can do is teach that.