Suicide (Bullycide) Prevention
The numbers of suicides, or bullycides (suicide driven by being bullied) are growing at an alarming rate. Children at ages as young as 7 are ending their lives to escape the pain of bullying which they faced daily and because they feel that the adults in their lives are doing nothing about it, or they have lost their belief that adults will do anything about it, or out of desperation for escaping the pain and fear. “Children can’t see their budding lives through the long lens of wisdom… For them, the weight of ridicule and ostracism can feel crushing and without the possibility of reprieve. And, in that dark and lonely place, desperate and confused, they can make horrible decisions that can’t be undone.” (“The Bleakness of the Bullied”, Charles M. Blow, see Resources below) Children often feel that no one can or will help them. Children are often told by their peers to “go kill yourself.” It is heart-wrenching to imagine what the lives of our young children must have been like in the days leading up to their decision to end it. We must continue to remind every child that there is someone who cares and will help them through. Help them identify people they can go to. Sometimes children are too ashamed or afraid to go to those closest to them (parents, teachers) so we must help them identify others to consider in times of need. We need a strong system in place in schools to deal with the cycle of bullying. Not just a plan on paper, but one that can and will be followed consistently. Before it’s too late.
Hey God! a Poem
(With permission, © Copyright 2012 Amy Comstock)
There used to be the nine of us but now we are just eight,
One of our friends just could not cope and chose to find your gate.
We tried to help him through his days and stand up by his side,
But we could not prevent the tears that every night he cried.
The bully that took him away should know what he has done,
The words he screamed were just the same as bullets from a gun.
Not everyone is strong enough to handle so much hate,
Why was he chose to be the one to be this bully’s bait?
He really was a special kid he shared his love with all,
Do you think that he had to die because he was not tall?
He studied very hard in school, To class he was not late,
Do you think that he had to die cause he was overweight?
He liked to sing and act in plays, Inside he had no rage,
Do you think that he had to die because he liked the stage?
He really was a quiet boy who would not wear gym shorts,
Do you think that he had to die because he hated sports?
The eight of us now live in fear and might look for your gate,
You see, we have the qualities that make us bully bait.
Oh God, please give us extra strength and teach us how to cope,
We really do not want to die by hanging from a rope.
Please make the adults in our lives stand up and help our cause,
They need to do this very fast there is no time to pause.
For every moment that we have without them as our guide,
Another child could be lost a death by bullycide.
“I always say how bullied I am… What do I have to do so people will listen to me?” RIP Jamey Rodemeyer (bullycide age 15)
“Dear Family I’m so sorry for what I’m about to do.I have been bullied a lot recently and had a lot of shit madeup about me that ain’t true.” RIP Dom Crouch (bullycide age 15)
The statistics on bullying and suicide are alarming:
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.
- Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University
- A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying
- 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above
- According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying (Source)
Bully-related suicide can be connected to any type of bullying, including physical bullying, emotional bullying, cyberbullying, and sexting, or circulating suggestive or nude photos or messages about a person.
Photo from movie Which Team Will You Choose?
Prevention Hotlines and Resources:
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide please call 911 now.
If you are not in the U.S., please call your local emergency number.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Suicide Hotline in Spanish: 1-800-273-TALK (Press 2)
LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR
No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area,anytime 24/7.
Befrienders Worldwide Click on this link and enter your country. You will be given resources to connect with. http://befrienders.org/support/helplines.asp
Befrienders listen to people who are lonely, despairing or considering suicide. They don’t judge them, don’t tell them what to do. They listen. That may not sound much – but it can make the difference between life and death. People who feel suicidal are often so focused on a particular problem or pain that they find it difficult to see a way forward. Talking openly to a befriender, in a safe and confidential environment, can help. By listening to a suicidal person, a befriender helps them to listen to themselves.
Jeremiah’s Hope for Kindness was created in honor of our precious son, Jeremiah who took his own life on October 22, 2006 at the age of 21. In a letter to us he wrote that he no longer wanted to live in a “world where people are so cruel.” In another letter he wrote about being bullied. He wrote that the bullying he endured left him “with no self-esteem and feeling like a loser.” We are dedicated to changing the world Jeremiah described as so cruel by creating kind and caring schools and communities so that every child feels valued and cared about. It is our mission to support efforts and be a resource in creating kind and caring schools and communities. (RIP JeremiahGettis, bullycide age 21)
B.R.A.V.E. (Bullies Really Are Violating Everyone™) Society was founded from heartache and a desire to see it never happen again. We are a Sacramento based non-profit 501 (c) 3 grass roots corporation that is dedicated to creating peer abuse awareness that demands accountability while calling for action; in order to help empower children with the resiliency necessary to become confident and caring adults. Lisa Ford Berry lost her youngest son Michael Joseph Berry on his 17th birthday due to a peer abuse driven bullycide in response relentless hate-biased cyberbullying. Lisa’s passion is teaching parents how to maneuver through the bureaucracy of the educational system, along with giving children a voice of power. She founded B.R.A.V.E (Bullies Really Are Violating Everyone) Society to put an end to the peer abuse plaguing society and stealing young lives. Michael, ended his life to escape the torment of bullying when the adults at his school did nothing to help him. Lisa says, “Teach your children to KEEP ASKING and find an adult that WILL help. Let them know that although it seems like some people don’t care, there ARE people who DO care.” (RIP Michael Berry, bullycide age 17)