After replying to one more message from bullies who were sending “relentless” abusive messages on social media, a 14-year-old girl ended her life.
Megan Evans, a 14-year-old girl from Pembrokeshire, was found dead at her home in Milford Haven after suffering a torrent of internet bullying that she had kept hidden from her parents.
A schoolgirl was subjected to death threats and hurtful remarks on Snapchat, which resulted in her suicide.
Before she died in February 2017, Megan sent one last message to a bully who said, “Why don’t you h*ng yourself?” to which she snapped back, “OK.”
Her mother, Nicola Harteveld, said she feels it was the final message that “did tip the scales” after five years since her death.
Nicola said she was unaware of any warning signals that might indicate a child is having difficulties.
‘I had no clue,’ he added. “I can see things blindingly obvious now that I didn’t have a clue back then,” he said.
My name’s Joe, and I’m a 26-year-one. And I was really naive about it – that you could just tell someone has a mental health condition by looking at them. Back then, if my kids were having problems, they’d be in their room wearing black and listening to dark music – that was my stupid mindset.
“This is my lovely, vibrant Meg,” I’d tell her. “I’d tell her: ‘Meg, snap out of it; you’re being so stupid; just face things head-on.’ “
‘I’m the type of person who, when I was younger, would’ve said that. It wasn’t until I had a friend ask me if my anxiety made it difficult to be on Twitter (which is true), and then someone else asked me what “perfectionism” meant (which also felt true at the time) that I realized how
Nicola spent the months following her death in February 2018 promoting awareness of cyberbullying’s harms and consequences.
After reading the news, the two were shocked to learn that her birthday had been stolen. She appeared on This Morning with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby to discuss what had happened to Megan.
I want to let you know that I’m looking forward to working with you. Take my comments into account when making decisions. Please be careful what you say since words may not be taken back.
Exchanges like these can seem minor or expressed in anger or humor, but they can’t be undone.
You don’t know how that person will react, so be cautious of other people’s situations.
‘I don’t want her death to be for anything. I wish to bring attention to parents in order for them to be aware of the symptoms.’
Nicola, who is now 20, recalls that she ‘looked back and saw the red flags’ when she was 14. She would ‘one million percent’ do things differently now.
‘She was sleeping a lot during the day since she was kept up at night by these communications, but I didn’t realize it,’ she added.
‘There was a lot of mystery around her phone – she wouldn’t let it out of her hands, and I would have thought that was strange now but not a clue.’