It’s impossible to read Melbourne teenager Cassidy Trevan’s story without feeling deep rage. Rage, and a sense of disbelief at the actions of girls who should have been looking out for her.
Cassidy, who took her own life in December 2015, was 13 years old when a group of girls from her school organised for her to be gang-raped. The girls had bullied her since Year 7, culminating in Trevan taking a full term off school before returning in Year 8 for two days a week.
“The bullying started out with just insults and stuff and she got slapped across the face once or twice,” her mother, Linda Trevan, has told Nine.com.au. “Our fence got graffitied, banana peel on the front door mat.”
When Cassidy returned to school the girls apologised, only to invite her to a festival, where they led her to a house nearby where the high school boys they had arranged to gang rape her were waiting.
Despite meeting with detectives from Victoria Police’s Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Team over 20 times, Cassidy never made a formal statement for fear of retaliation, Nine reports.
Cassidy suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks and flashbacks after the rape and continued to be bullied by the girls who organised it. After 22 months, she took her own life.
Now, Cassidy’s mother has shared an unfinished letter she found on Cassidy’s laptop with Nine.
“My aim is to warn other people (students mostly but also parents) about what happened because I’m worried if they could do it to me they could do it to other kids like me, or at least try to. You actually have the power to stop this from happening,” Cassidy writes.
“I want to finally after 1 and ½ years be left alone… I still continue to get students I’ve never met contacting me Facebook calling me a slut. I’ve moved schools, I’ve moved house and still I’m being contacted and bullied.”
“If anyone every tries this on you trust me it’s worth fighting! Fight! If you don’t you’ll regret it for the rest of your life like I do. You can do it.”
As Cassidy never made a formal statement, no charges were ever laid against anyone involved in the gang rape.
You can read the full letter here.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit Lifeline.