Izzy's mother reveals extent of bullying
The mother of schoolgirl Izzy Dix has revealed the extent of the bullying she endured before she died.
The 14-year-old Brixham Community College student was found dead at her home on September 17. It is believed she took her own life.
Now, her mother Gabbi has spoken of her daughter's torment. And friends of Izzy's have spoken out about how online bullying affects all teenagers.
Gabbi said her daughter was distressed by cyber-bullying and was asked to post naked pictures of herself in an online game. She was also bullied in and out of school.
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In a statement, Gabbi said: "Izzy had been trying to cope with life while undergoing an extended period of bullying.
"She was deeply troubled after being cyber-bullied on Ask.fm, where she had no idea who her tormentors were because of the anonymity aspect of the site. A game called 'Body Part For Body Part' really disturbed her where she was asked to post naked photos of herself online by anonymous users. She was also bullied at school, was excluded from social situations and harassed while volunteering."
She said they discussed the situation together and with the school and deleted her Ask.fm account.
Gabbi said: "I visited the school a number of times to talk to them about what was going on. But, unfortunately, the damage had already been done."
Gabbi was speaking out to urge people to support an e-petition set up by the Izzy Dix Anti-Bullying Memorial Group.
It has gathered apace with 4,500 signatures but it needs to reach 100,000 to attract debate in the House of Commons.
The petition can be found at Change.org and is called 'shut-down-cyberbullying-website-ask-fm-in-memory-of-izzy-dix.'
Gabbi said: "We need to teach that bullying is not an acceptable way of communicating your feelings — there are other ways and other avenues. We need parents to be more aware of what their children are doing, both online and off. We need them to teach that kindness, empathy and compassion are what society needs — not hate.
"We need social media sites to take more responsibility for the safety of young people and for the actions of their users."
Maddie Sinclair, a family friend and spokesman for the memorial group, said Izzy "loved learning, was intelligent and had everything going for her". She said bullying is a complex issue with help also needed for youngsters before they turn into bullies.
Maddie said: "This is such a complex issue but we want to show there are so many more positive things in life than hate."
Mark Eager, principal at Brixham Community College, said: "I am in close contact with the family and must respect their wishes not to comment on these tragic events at this time."
Ask.fm did not reply to requests for a comment.