A 12-year-old girl was found hanged in her bedroom after being bullied on social media platforms, authorities say.
Jessica Scatterson of Warrington, England, “felt emotionally overwhelmed” by the “intensity of her activity on social media” before she died by suicide nearly two years ago, according to an investigation by the coroner’s office obtained by The Sun.
On April 22, 2017, Scatterson posted a picture on social media of her heel with “RIP” written on it. Her friends became alarmed and called police. When police arrived at her residence and woke up the father by “shouting towards an upstairs window,” officers heard a “loud scream” from inside the house.
Just before 4 a.m. that day, Scatterson was found hanged in her bedroom. She was surrounded by her toys and stuffed animals, according to the New York Post.
Despite the efforts of police and paramedics to resuscitate Scatter son, she was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to The Sun.
Alan Moore, Senior Coroner for Cheshire, told The Sun, “The level and intensity of her activity on social media platforms….cannot have failed to have influenced her intentions.”
During the investigation, authorities found hand-drawn notes and sketches about death and suicide in her room. Scatter son had also written down the name of her alleged bully and had a photo with the unnamed person’s face scratched off, reported the New York Post.
“These [notes] contained references of suicide and death and a hand-drawn picture of someone being hanged,” Inspector Hannah Friend said in the report, according to the New York Post.
About a year before her death, Scatter son returned home from school with her face covered with scratches and one eye swollen shut from a fight with another girl, Friend said.
“It is clear to me from the evidence that Jessica must have felt emotionally overwhelmed at the time she took her own life,” the coroner said, according to The Sun.
“The level and the intensity of her activity on social media platforms, in particularly in the build-up to her death, cannot have failed to have influenced her thinking, her state of mind and her intentions,” the coroner added.
Moore also read a statement by a school emotional well being coordinator, Wendy Walsh.
“She said, I quote, ‘The pressures that young people are under are extraordinary. Young people don’t have the skills to cope with such overwhelming emotions.’ Those are her words and I echo that,” he said, according to The Sun.
A survey conducted by Opinium showed that almost half of all girls in the UK have experienced some form of harassment or abuse on social media, reported The Guardian. The survey involved 1,002 young people aged between 11 and 18. Of the respondents, 235 out of 486 girls reported online abuse, compared with 202 of 510 boys.
According to the poll results, nearly twice as many girls, 23 percent, said they felt online harassment regularly, compared with 13 percent of boys. More girls felt threatened by a comment online than boys: 20 percent girls compared to 13 percent boys.
Natasha Devon, writer and campaigner for mental health, said: “Evidence shows cyber bullying can have a profound effect because it never disappears. We can return again and again to the words and they hurt us anew, and also because we read them in our own voice.”