The mother of a young Australian girl who suffered a sickening gang rape aged 13 before taking her own life has penned a heartbreaking tribute.
Linda Trevan, from Melbourne, urged others to teach their kids to be kind after the tragic death of her own daughter Cassidy – and that of the former face of Akubra Hats, Dolly, who took her own life, aged 14, after being ‘overwhelmed’ by cyber bullies.
'RIP beautiful Dolly, and my condolences to your heartbroken family. Yet another gentle soul lost to Bullycide. I just can't believe it, it's making me feel so sick,' Linda wrote in a post at the weekend.
'So many sweet angels who shouldn't have been tormented to the point of taking their own lives.’
Her own daughter, Cassidy, was severely bullied – missing her final term in Year 7 at school as a result.
In a heartbreaking letter, the young girl revealed she had been raped by two boys at a house, while two girls who had bullied her waited in a nearby room – and a third boy stood watch at the door.
The letter was released by her devastated mother after her suicide.
Last year authorities said there was little chance of securing a conviction against those responsible.
‘My heart really goes out to Dolly’s family. I’ve thought of nothing else for days,’ Linda revealed on Wednesday.
‘I know the pain they are going through, and I just wish I didn’t have to see more families go through the heartbreak of losing a child to Bullycide.
‘Bullying has to stop. It starts at home. Please teach your kids to be kind!’
Cassidy took her life in December 2015 – a tragedy that continues to haunt her mother.
In October, Linda shared her anguish to Facebook, writing: ‘I thought the last two years of Cassidy’s life were a parent’s worst nightmare ... what they did to her ... watching her daily suffering and lack of will to live ... getting mentally & physically sicker & sicker before my eyes ...
But now I'm living the worst parent’s nightmare imaginable ... Now I'm a grieving childless mother ...
‘This is not how it was supposed to be ... me without her ... it’s just not how it was ever supposed to be ... it’s not the way life is supposed to work ...’ she continued.
‘I'll miss all the things I should have been by her side for, for the rest of my life ...
‘I'll miss seeing her grow up ... I’ll miss supporting her through all the good & bad times in life ... I’ll miss guiding her and being her rock ... I’ll miss never getting to be a grandma ...
‘I’ll miss all the things that Cass will never get to experience ... I'll miss everything that my life with her was supposed to be about ... I’ll miss being her mum!
‘They say Child Birth is the worst pain ... Well I can tell you it’s nothing compared to Child Death! Losing Cass was like losing half of myself ... half of me is dead ... and the other half is trying to work out how to function alone.
‘But the truth is ... Cass died inside when they violated her when she was 13 ... the deceit & betrayal hurt her as much, if not more, than the physical act. The next two years were a bonus I worked bloody hard for 24/7 ... and her suicide was just the finale.’
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this story and need someone to talk to, help is available from Lifeline on 13 11 14.