Jessica Tolhurst had struggled with depression for three years.
But at the beginning of 2015, her family thought she was getting better. Then the bullying started, and Jessica just couldn’t cope.
“We were getting there with her until the beginning of last year and once that stuff happened at school, it was just massive. With social media as well, they can’t escape,” Jessica’s mum, Melinda Graham told The Daily Telegraph.
On December 7 Jessica took her own life. She was just 14-years-old
Her family had approached police over the bullying that Jessica was receiving, including threats from one girl at the NSW school that she would “stomp on Jess’s head if she ever came back to school”.
Ms Graham said the girl also threatened her life.
“(The police) came here and they rang the girl and did nothing else. They didn’t talk to her parents, didn’t press any charges,” she said.
“I believe the schools need to do more. This girl should’ve been suspended or expelled from the school so that Jess felt safe to go back.”
A high-spirited, animal-loving teen, Jessica was just 10 when her battle with depression and an eating disorder began.
“She was just cheeky and gorgeous. Just your everyday gorgeous girl. She wanted to originally be a zookeeper. She just loved animals. She brought home any animals she could,” Ms Graham said.
“She had such a caring nature. She was more worried about everyone else than she was herself.”
Jessica’s family wants to raise awareness around social media and school yard bullying, and say schools and police need to do more to protect victims.
“A lot of things need to change,” Ms Graham said.
Jessica’s siblings have set up a Go Fund Me page to start a foundation that her family is hoping will help other families avoid a similar tragedy.