Fourteen-year-old Amy Jayne Everett was known by those who loved her as “Dolly.”
The Australian native was also known as the face of Akubra Hats. Over the years, she would occasionally model for the company’s Christmas ads. Sadly, Dolly won’t have the opportunity to do that again.
According to the Daily Mail, the teenager took her own life on January 3, after being “overwhelmed” by cyberbullies.
Her father, Tick Everett, wrote about his daughter’s suicide in a Facebook post four days after her unexpected death:
Well, where do I start,
I would like to thank everybody for their kind and supportive words over the last few days. It is truly amazing. I also apologize that there are so many kind words that I have not yet replied to, so instead of wearing out another screen or keyboard, I would like to offer my thanks in one big message.
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. I know for some suicide is considered cowerdly (sic), but I guarantee those people wouldn’t have half the strength that my precious little angel had. 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.
Tick directly addressed the cyberbullies who drove his daughter to suicide, inviting them to Dolly’s funeral:
In saying this, I have a couple of challenges.
Firstly, 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.
The second is for the strong ones, let’s stop the bullies no matter where, but especially in our kids, as the old saying goes, “You will never know what you have until it’s gone.”
Thank you all again.
According to the CyberBullyHotline, in 2012, 42 percent of teenagers with technology access reported being cyberbullied over the previous year. In addition, 3 million kids per month are absent from school due to bullying, 20 percent of kids cyberbullied think about suicide, and one in every 10 kids attempt it.
Each year, 4,500 kids commit suicide, making it the third highest killer of teenagers in the United States. And the vast majority of the teens surveyed said that by bullying online, it’s easier to get away with it.
Akubra Hats, whom Dolly used to model for, also took to social media to offer support to the teen’s family.Akubra Hats/Instagram
The company posted a photo of Dolly from eight years ago, asking their followers to join the fight against bullying:
We are 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 to escape the bullying she was being subjected to. She was not even 15 years old. To think that anyone could feel so overwhelmed and that suicide was their only option is unfathomable. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. It is abuse and it is time for 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 Dolly’s family and friends. Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett 1.5.2003-3.1.2018
The Daily Mail reports that a celebration of Dolly’s life is scheduled to take place on January 12. Those in attendance are asked to wear any shade of blue — Dolly’s favorite color.
If you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.