A Canadian teen who posted a video to YouTube detailing her heart-wrenching story of being mercilessly bullied took her own life Wednesday night. Amanda Todd’s body was discovered in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, where she lived. She would have turned 16 next month.
Todd uploaded the nearly nine-minute video to YouTube last month. Using cue cards, she documented the torment and cruelty that followed her online and in school, despite moving and switching schools several times, and the anxiety and depression that resulted.
Here’s the video:
The 15-year-old said it all started when she was in seventh grade and doing webcam chats with friends to meet new people. One man she met through Web chats offered numerous compliments and asked her to flash him. She did. A year later, Todd said she received a message from the man on Facebook telling her to “put on a show” or else he would send the topless picture of her to everyone. Over Christmas break, police knocked on her door in the middle of the night to notify her that the photo had been circulated.
Thus begun a horrible cycle of “endless” emotional torment that included psychological, as well as physical, abuse.
She described being called names, eating lunch alone and resorting to cutting herself. She also told the story of an incident where she made a “huge mistake” and “hooked up” with a boy at her school who had a girlfriend, but who she believed really liked her.
A week later, she said she received a text message telling her to get out of school and then a group of students, led by the boy’s girlfriend, surrounded her at school and said, “Look around, nobody likes you.”
“A guy then yelled, ‘Just punch her already,’ so [the girlfriend] did,” Todd wrote. “She threw me to the ground and punched me several times. Kids filmed it. I was all alone and left on the ground.”
Todd said she “wanted to die so bad” when her dad found her in a ditch. She drank bleach when she went home and had to be rushed to the hospital to have her stomach pumped, she said.
Todd said that when she got home from the hospital, the bullying continued through Facebook where classmates posted things like “I hope she’s dead,” tagged her in pictures of ditches of bleach and suggested she try different bleach.
Throughout, Todd described how alone she felt. “I have nobody…I need someone. :( ” she writes on one of the final cards.
She posted the following along with the video, signing it at the end.
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?
As of Friday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 500,000 times.
Besides the video, Todd posted a Prezi on how to cope with cyberbullying last month. In it, she details what cyberbullying is, who cyberbullies are and how to respond. The teen also urges people to help others who are victims of bullying.
In the wake of the news that Todd killed herself, many have turned to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to express their grief and condolences.
In the wake of the tragic news, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has also taken to YouTube in an effort to curb bullying. “No one deserves to be bullied,” Clark says in a video posted to the site Thursday.