Eight years ago, a beautiful little girl from a cattle station in Kimberly posed for Akubra Hats. With glowing skin and an adorable smile, Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett, was the picture of Aussie perfection. 

Today, family and friends gathered to say goodbye to this same smiling girl, after 14-year-old Dolly took her own life. The reason? Bullying.

Dolly’s tragic death has captured worldwide attention, bringing to light the terrible impact that cyber and face-to-face bullying has on our kids. The suicide rate for 15 to 24-year-olds is at its highest in 10 years. And, often, bullying is to blame.

Dolly is only one of the many teens who resort to suicide because of bullying, before their lives have even really started. And, as Dolly’s family are cruelly aware, she won’t be the last.

Stop Bullying Now

In their heartbreak, the Everett family have started an anti-bullying campaign in Dolly’s name. They want to spread the hashtags, #stopbullyingnow and #doitfordolly, to encourage children to “speak, even if your voice shakes”. Those are the poignant words Dolly wrote on the last drawing she did before taking her life. 

“If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Doll’s life will not be wasted,” Dolly’s dad, Tick Everett writes on his Facebook page

Let’s 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.”

PM Pledges Action

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also joined the outpouring of grief. The PM, who has three young grandchildren, says his heart is breaking for Dolly and her family.

“Dolly’s passing highlights the devastating impact that bullying can have on its victims,” he says.

“Every step must be taken to reduce the incidence of bullying, whether offline or on, and eliminate it wherever we can.”

Dolly laid to rest

Dolly lived in Katherine, NT, but attended boarding school at Scots PGC College in Warwick, Queensland. She was due to return to school in just a few weeks.

Dolly’s funeral was held today (12 January), in her home town. Hundreds of family, friends and supporters gathered to say goodbye to the teen, to celebrate her life and to cherish the time they got to spend with their “beautiful, clever, tough and strong” girl.

The crowd wore blue, Dolly’s favourite colour, as countless other families across Australia shared messages of support online. After family and friends shared poems, reflections and prayers for Dolly, they released balloons and butterflies into the sky.

Another memorial service  is to be held in Toowoomba, Queensland. on the weekend. Grieving dad Tick wants Dolly’s tormentors to attend.

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 on Facebook.

 

‘Words hurt. Don’t let this happen to anyone else’ 

The family have also made a video montage as part of an anti-bullying campaign and as a way to keep the memory of their beautiful girl alive.

“She is beautiful, clever, strong and tough.”Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett’s family has shared this tribute to their outback girl. #stopbullyingnow #doitfordolly

Posted by Sylvia Jeffreys on Wednesday, January 10, 2018

 

Bullying is something that is happening all around us. Since the death of Dolly, mental health experts have urged parents to talk to their children, to ensure their kids are not doing the bullying, and to let them know that, if they are being bullied, it’s important to speak up.

One mean message online can escalate so quickly. And it can make life unbearable for those on the receiving end.

For Dolly, the bullying became too much.

“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,” Tick writes.

“Doll had the strength to do what she thought she had to do to escape the evil in this world. However, unfortunately Dolly will never know the great pain and emptiness left behind.” 

The family used the funeral today to reiterate their hope of starting a trust called “Dolly’s Dream” to raise awareness of bullying, depression, anxiety and youth suicide.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

For more information on the impact of cyber bullying, have a read of this mum’s powerful message about bullying after her 13-year-old daughter’s suicide. 

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe, including her son, daughter, cat, dog and partner. When she's not writing, you can find her lounging by the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach or nagging her kids to put on their pants.

1 Comment

  1. Love, attention and proper guidance is the key during this development stage (teen). Teach them to be confident, strong and respect not only to others but themselves and their bodies.
    The problem nowadays, teens if not properly disciplined and not getting the love and attention at home tend to get swayed by peer pressure and if they were not taught of handling consequences of their actions they could easily succumbed to embarrassment and humiliation and their only recourse is to kill themselves.
    You see, if she has a good, nurturing and loving relationship with her family, she would still be alive today. If all parents do what their supposed to do., there will be no bullies and victims of bullying. Stop making this a social issue., because it’s not!

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