A 14-year-old girl who was once the face of iconic Australian hat maker Akubra has taken her life after being ‘overwhelmed’ by cyber bullies.
Amy Everett’s grief-stricken parents posted an emotional tribute to their ‘Dolly’ inviting the vile social media trolls to her funeral to see the ‘devastation they caused.
The family from Katherine in the Northern Territory have taken aim at keyboard warriors following the young girl’s death and vow her life won’t be a ‘waste’.
Her father Tick Everett broke the family’s silence just four days after Dolly’s January 3 death, thanking loved ones for support and condemning bullying.
‘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,’ he said.
‘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.’
But the brunt of his message was for those who had lead his young girl to take her own life.
‘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, Doll had the strength to do what she thought she had to do to escape the evil in this world.
‘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 family have come up with a catch phrase to help victims of harassment come forward.’
‘Speak now even if your voice shakes.
‘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.’
Akubra Hats also took time to fight for Dolly on their Facebook Page – calling for an end to bullying.
‘The young girl many of you will recognise as the face of our past Christmas adverts. This beautiful photo was taken 8 years ago,’ she said.
‘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.’
Dolly’s funeral is to be held on Friday – her parents and sister have asked mourners and supporters to wear blue – the teenager’s favourite colour.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800