It’s a cry for help that’s now been seen more than 13 million times — Amanda Todd, 15, sharing her painful story with the world via YouTube.
“Cried every night, lost all my friends and respect,” reads one placard Todd holds up in the video. “I felt like a joke in this world I thought nobody deserves this,” reads another.
Todd, 15, posted the video called “My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm” on Sept. 7 and was found dead in her home town of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia on Oct. 10.
Todd’s small community held a candlelight vigil in her honor this past weekend.
“You wouldn’t know that she had any problems,” one fellow student said through tears. “She was just so happy, like all the time, never sad, like you couldn’t tell.”
Todd’s death hasn’t stopped her from being the victim of online harassment. Some have been attempting to profit from the enormous public outcry in support for her by setting up fraudulent websites that claim to be fundraising for the girl’s family.
“Taking advantage of a family’s grief is despicable,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Peter Thiessen said in a statement. “We want to get the word out that there is one real account and anyone who is interested can make a donation at any RBC branch to the Amanda Todd Trust Account.”
Dozens of tribute pages for the teen have been created on Facebook. The most popular one has over one million supporters and several others have hundreds of thousands of supporters.
Authorities are “sifting through thousands of tips” they have received since Todd’s death.
Police have opened a probe into Todd’s death and “anyone that had contact with her” before she died. Of particular interest is a man who convinced Todd to flash her breasts, took a screen grab of the moment and used the photo to cyber-bully her for years.
In her video, Todd described using webcam chats to meet and talk to new people online as a seventh grader, including a man who pressured her to flash her chest. One year later, she did and the man took the photo.
Todd said that the man put the photo online and sent it to everyone she knew. Even after moving towns and schools multiple times, the man continued to follow her online and use her photo, she said. The photo and the bullying online and in school drove her to depression, drugs, alcohol, cutting and a suicide attempt with bleach.
“I can never get that photo back,” she wrote. “It’s out there forever.”