A Melbourne mother has urged bullies to think about the horrific consequences of their actions, opening up about the gang rape that led to her 15-year-old daughter's suicide.
9News reports that while the bullying of Linda Trevan's daughter Cassidy started out with insults, and an occasional slap across the face, it soon escalated. Their house got graffitied and banana peel was left on her doorstep in 2013 when she was in year 7.
Cassidy was so affected by the bullying that she took a term off school. When she returned to school in 2014, the bullies appeared to be nicer to her, apologising for their actions, and inviting her to go to the Springvale festival with them.
However it turns out that they had organised for her to be led into a house where she was gang raped by two older boys she didn't know. One boy stood guarding the front door, while two boys shared her and timed each other, and the two girls looked on.
She was just 13 years old.
Linda Trevan said that though Cassidy reported the gang rape to police, she never made a victim statement, so they weren't able to press charges against her bullies.
“Cass was scared to make a formal statement for fear of retaliation from the gang, and she also was worried reliving it would ‘push her over the edge’,” she told 9News.
Linda moved Cassidy to different schools, but she continued to have PTSD and panic attacks from the crime.
The bullies continued to harass Cassidy over the phone and social media, and eventually, Cassidy committed suicide in December 2015.
She wrote about her daughter's suicide in an emotional Facebook post in January this year, saying that it was a direct result of the bullying.
“I helplessly watched my precious child wither away before my eyes, mentally & physically, until she rarely got out of bed, until she could no longer take the pain and torment you caused her,” she wrote.
“I know who you are, you know who you are, and the police know who you are. I hope the knowledge of what you did haunts you for the rest of your lives, and one day, if you are lucky enough to have children of your own ... remember what you did to my precious only baby, and imagine how you'd feel if someone did that to your baby.
“Cassy was my world, she still is and she always will be. But now I have nothing, and I'm still trying to find a reason to go on without her.”
Linda urged bullies to think before they act.
“I want the bullies out there to know that it’s not just a game. It costs lives.”