Amanda Todd, a Vancouver-area teenager who posted a story to YouTube last month about being cyber-bullied, was found dead Wednesday night in Coquitlam, Canada. Authorities believe she committed suicide.
Amanda's video tells a heart-wrenching story of the bullying she was subjected to -- both online and off. "In 7th grade," she begins, sharing her message on cue cards, "I would go with friends on webcam [to] meet and talk to new people." At one point, a stranger flattered her into flashing the camera.
One year later, a man contacted her on Facebook, threatening to send around the picture of her topless "if [she] don't put on a show." Terrifyingly, the stranger knew everything about her: her address, school, friends, relatives, and the names of her family members. Soon, her naked photo had been forwarded "to everyone."
Amanda developed anxiety, depression, and anxiety disorders, she says in the video, followed by a path into drugs and alcohol.
She changed schools and found a new group of friends in an effort to leave behind the bullies. Then the man created a Facebook profile, using her uncensored photo as his profile picture. "Cried every night, lost all my friends and respect people had for me... again... then nobody liked me," she wrote in the video.
I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I'm not doing this for attention. I'm doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I'd rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don't hate, although im sure I'll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I'm still here aren't I?