In light of the tragic suicide of 14-year-old Amy Everett, or Dolly as she was known to friends and family, Change.org user Katrina is trying to make sure no other Australian teenager is bullied to death again.
The Rockhampton local has launched a petition calling for the banning of apps like Sarahah – frequented by Aussie tweens and teens – which allow users to anonymously send their contacts messages, which are notoriously abusive and dark in nature.
For Katrina, news of Dolly’s death hit particularly close to home, having only recently discovered that her 13-year-old daughter had received death threats online.
“I have been scared, broken and sick to my stomach ever since I read messages about my 13-year-old daughter including, ‘I hope SHE KILLS HERSELF. Seriously nobody will care’,” she wrote on the petition description page.
“No one, especially our youth, should have to read messages like this about them.”
Listen: Bec Sparrow talks to Holly, Mia and Jessie on Mamamia Out Loud about the dangers of cyber bullying and what we can do to stop it. (Post continues after audio…)
Thankfully the message to ban apps like Sarahah from app stores and Google Play is spreading.
At the time of writing, the petition has already garnered over 68,000 signatures from concerned Australian parents, and is quickly making its way to Katrina’s target of 75,000. The Queensland woman plans on taking to the Local Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry.
Despite this Sarahah is not the first, nor will it be the last of these insidious apps.
In May last year, the app Sayat.me was at the centre of a similar incident.
After promising users they will “get anonymous and honest feedback” about themselves, 15-year-old UK teen George Hessay took his own life after experiencing constant cyber bullying.
Popular teen and tween websites like Ask.FM, YikYak and Tumblr have similar features and when incorrectly managed, individuals can become targets of harassment.
Dolly was one of them.
Let's make sure her family's grief can bring some good - saving other vulnerable lives.
You can contribute too on Change.org.
LISTEN: On this very light and shade episode of Mamamia Out Loud titled 'This One's For Dolly', Holly, Mia and Jessie talk about Dolly Everett, the young girl who took her life, the gender pay gap and breaking up with a friend.