She’d been bullied and stalked and harassed for a few years, and it got to be too much to take. All over one innocuous action, what some may deem a screw-up, that just happened to happen on the internet.
You know, kids screw up. They do. When I was 13 I was not being safe on the internet. I wasn’t. I was cyber-sexing with random strangers and telling them…well, not super-personal details, but probably too much. I was also looking at porn and getting malware downloaded to our home computer. I was a kid and I was dumb. You’re supposed to be at that age. It’s supposed to be allowed. It’s supposed to be safe.
You’re not supposed to be stalked and harassed because you flashed someone online on a whim.
You’re not supposed to be stalked and harassed because you flashed someone online on a whim regardless your age. (Flashing people in the street? Whole other kettle of fish.)
And you know, people always start in with the “Well that’s what she gets for being on the internet,” as if being on the internet suddenly signs away your right to a private, happy, healthy life free from harassment. News flash: it fucking doesn’t.
A light has gone out in the world, and it’s because people are cruel. No one deserves to be stalked and harassed, and especially not to the point of suicide.
My heart goes out to Amanda’s family, and my thoughts and prayers are with them. No one should lose a child like this.
My heart swells up with love for Amanda, and it is that love that pushes me to action. Love is always what pushes me to action, because “justice is what love looks like in public” (Cornel West).
And maybe right now my only way of trying to find justice is to write a blog post. To let other kids out there like Amanda Todd know they are not alone.
Please — if you are being stalked and harassed to the point of wanting to end it, reach out for help. I’ve blogged about depression and suicide before, and how my ask box on tumblr is always open. It is. Don’t hesitate to shoot me a message if you feel you need someone to talk to, because I have been there.
I’m not going to tell you that things magically get better, but things can get better if we put in the effort to make them better. But we have to be around to do that.
Nil illegitimi carborundum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Because you are amazing, and worthy of love, and they are not worth that. They are not worth you leaving like this.
Call someone. Please.
Hotlines to Call
Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433
Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743
Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438
Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673
Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272
Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000
Exhale: After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Voice: 1-866-439-4253
The master list of suicide hotlines is here: Suicide.org.