Last month the mother of 13-year-old Adelaide school Libby Bell ducked out to the local shops to grab some snacks and by the time she returned home, her daughter had taken her own life.
Libby had endured over two years of bullying from a group of girls at her school which reached such extreme levels that last year a video of her being bullied by the girls went viral. In addition to the bullying at school, Libby was being cyberbullied.
Unbeknownst to her loving family and friends, Libby was not coping, which made the tragedy even more shocking to those that knew the ‘bubbly’ teenager who was also involved in Surf Life Saving.
The South Australian Police Commissioner has publicly supported introducing ‘Libby’s Law’ into the parliament to officially criminalize bullying and allow the prosecution of those who are charged with bullying to be sentenced for up to ten years in jail.
Victorian father, Damian Panlock who lost his 19-year-old daughter, Brodie to suicide after suffering from bullying has encouraged the law to be passed. After the death of his daughter, Damian and his wife worked relentlessly for 5 years to get Brodie’s Law passed through the Victorian Parliament which now recognizes bullying as a punishable crime. This has resulted in over 60 people being officially charged in Victoria under Brodie’s Law for acts of bullying.
Libby’s devastated family have paid tribute to their daughter and urged other teenagers to ‘speak out’ if they are suffering from bullying.
Our thoughts are with Libby’s family.
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