Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Rescued from the Darkness; Bullying Victim Speaks Out

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Rescued from the Darkness; Bullying Victim Speaks Out

Article excerpt

Byline: Elyse Wurm

HORRIFYING bullying traumatised Warwick teenager Samantha Brodie to the point where she considered ending it all.

She suffered cracked ribs, was told to kill herself and even changed her phone number nine times in order to escape the torment.

But it was a rescue horse named Sarge that pulled her from the darkness of total hopelessness.

The 18-year-old is just one victim in a town where bullying is running rampant.

Last week, Warwick schoolgirl Amy "Dolly" Jayne Everett took her own life because of relentless bullying and now other families are coming forward to share their devastating stories.

Samantha says she has been bullied her whole life, at school, on the street and in her workplace.

She's been chased down the street, hit in the face and bullies told her taking her life would "do the world a favour".

At the age of 14, she turned to self harm because she was made to feel worthless.

"When people say it, you start to believe it," she said.

"There were times mum made me sleep in her room because she didn't trust I wouldn't do something."

She was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and used make-up as a "mask", as she tried to move as far away from the labels of "fat" and "ugly" the bullies slapped on her.

"Hitting me hurts but all that heals, the emotional stuff doesn't," she said.

The last half of Year 12 was a write-off for Samantha, as stress made her constantly unwell and she suffered vomiting, boils and even contracted glandular fever.

Samantha said she understood how Dolly was pushed to the edge.

"Without talking to Mum I probably would have killed myself at the same stage as Dolly did," she said.

"Being a 14-year-old girl and being bullied isn't fun, you're trying to figure out how to be a teenager then."

When a family friend asked her to nurse a rescue horse back to health, as well as herself, it was the life-raft she needed and to this day she thanks her four-legged friend.

Samantha's mum Jenny Topp said it was "horrifying" to watch her daughter endure years of abuse.

"I know how close I was to losing her and I'm glad we had people supporting her," she said. …

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