A SCHOOLGIRL has told how bullying on Facebook led her to attempt suicide.
On the surface, the straight-A Portsmouth student and musician had everything to live for.
But when a 50-strong gang turned on her and posted a tirade of abusive messages on social networking site, Facebook, poking fun and inciting her to kill herself, the 14-year-old took a cocktail of pills.
The girl, who doesn’t want to be named but who we shall call Harriet, was rushed to hospital unconscious and fitting. Doctors said there was a 50/50 chance she would slip into a coma.
But thankfully she pulled through – and is now urging others not to suffer in silence.
She said: ‘It’s not an easy thing to revisit but I hope what I have to say will help schoolchildren who are being bullied think twice about hurting themselves or keeping quiet.
‘On the night I swallowed those pills I wasn’t thinking straight, but I was so upset and hysterical and just wanted all the emotional pain to go away. I didn’t tell anyone what I was going through, not even my mum. I realise now it was wrong to try to kill myself.’
Harriet’s nightmare started last summer when several people from various schools and colleges in the city ganged up on her.
She had said something to annoy a girl in the group, which sparked all the nasty comments.
Harriet recalled: ‘In the space of a couple of hours there were hundreds of postings of my former friends saying disgusting things about me, spilling my secrets, and telling me to go die and put myself under a train.
‘They even said things like I should have been a miscarriage, it was so horrible especially as these were people I considered friends.
‘I felt suicidal and I was crying so much. I didn’t stop to think about my real friends or my family. I just wanted out, so I crept down and emptied the medicine cabinet and swallowed pills. That’s the last I remember before I came to in hospital.’
Luckily her best friend had called her up and noticed something was wrong and so raised the alarm.
Harriet said she had also suffered bullying within the school gates. It comes as a News investigation today reveals a rise in exclusions for bullying in secondary schools in Portsmouth.
She said: ‘I reckon every day in the whole of Portsmouth there is at least one incident of school bullying.
‘It doesn’t have to be physical, sometimes it is just name calling, but if someone is taking abuse for a sustained period of time, it starts to have an effect on their mental wellbeing and it destroys their self esteem. Some times it makes them wish they weren’t alive.’