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Bullying and Suicide: Know the Warning Signs

Source: by Dr. Ann Marie Warren

The recent suicide of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, allegedly as a result of constant tormenting by two girls, ages 12 and 14, has brought to light the very real and very serious issue of bullying in the lives of today’s children and young adults and its devastating consequences.

The two girls are being charged with aggravated stalking that stemmed from multiple harassing messages allegedly sent to Sedwich by the girls via the internet. Some of the messages include: “Why don’t you go kill yourself?”, and “You should die.”, according to Grady Judd, sheriff of Polk County, Florida, where the events occurred.

While the concept of bullying is nothing new, the use of an online medium in bullying is, and this has made it easier for bullies to communicate with their victims, while feeling powerful and safe behind their computer screen. This new type of bullying called cyberbullying, and its presence in several other recent high-profile suicide deaths, has brought bullying under an international spotlight.

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