A 14-year-old girl who became the face of an Australian hat company took her own life last week after bullies pushed her over the edge.
Amy “Dolly” Everett became the face of Akubra and was a regular in their ads. In a statement to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, her family said, “our daughter Dolly was the kindest, caring, beautiful soul, and she was always caring for animals, small children, other children at boarding school who were less fortunate than herself.” The family was from the Northern Territory, a mostly desolate area and students often travel to boarding schools for their education. The close community reportedly came together in hopes of memorializing Dolly by raising awareness about bullying and other parents shared their stories about their children being bullied at boarding schools, the ABC reports.
In a Facebook post, her father, Tick Everett, told wrote that “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 added “Dolly will never know the great pain and emptiness left behind.”
Akubra also posted a photo of Dolly to their Instagram page, saying they were “shocked and distressed” to learn that “Dolly chose to end her life to escape the bullying she was being subjected to.” The company added “Dolly could be anyone’s daughter, sister, friend.”
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 If you need someone to talk to: Lifeline: 131114 Suicide Call Back Service: 1300659467 MensLine Australia: 1300789978 Beyond Blue : 1300224636 Kids Helpline: 1800551800 #stopbullyingnow #doitfordolly #justbekind
The family launched a campaign with the hashtag “stopbullyingnow” and are hoping to make their voices heard. In a Facebook post, he wrote “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.”
Suicide is actually relatively uncommon in Australia, with only 7.4 percent of deaths per 100,000 people attributed to suicide, according to a 2014 Business Insider article. By comparison, the United States has a 10.3 rate.