Content warning: This post discusses what led to a young girl’s suicide. If you or someone you know is suffering, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Libby Bell was 13 years old when she took her own life.
On Monday, August 28, Libby’s mum Crystal went to the shops. Libby had asked her to pick up her favourite snack. By the time her mum returned, the Adelaide schoolgirl had killed herself.
It’s a tragedy in every sense. And as her family grapples with her death and struggles to understand what could have led to it, one fact looms large in their heads: Libby was bullied.
Her uncle Clint Gow-Smith told The Project the young teen had been the subject of bullying from different groups of girls on-and-off over the past two or three years.
And of course, as is the reality for children these days, it was not contained to physical tormenting in the schoolyard. The threats, insults and other foul and vicious words written on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat can be so much worse.
The cyber-bullying Libby faced intensified after she was the subject of a viral video in October 2016 that had spread so far it even made the evening news.
In the video, another girl can be seen walking past Libby as she sits in a restaurant and tips a drink on her.
But as much bullying as Libby was copping online and in the classroom, she put on a brave face for her family, who have described her as a smiling, bubbly girl.