IZZY DIX: Bullied schoolgirl wrote heart-breaking poem about her torment
Parents claim 14-year-old girl was bullied by school pupils and on the controversial website Ask.fm
A bullied schoolgirl who was found hanged wrote a heart-breaking poem about her torment before she died.
Izzy Dix, 14, told how she was “drowning in a sea of emotions” as she struggled to deal with vile taunts from other pupils and cruel online jibes
The final straw came when she was snubbed by youngsters at a music festival. She fled home in tears and wrote the harrowing poem, called I Give Up.
One line read: “Another piece of me chiselled away by their cruel remarks and perceptions.”
Devastated mum Gabbi told how she spent hours trying to console her daughter after the festival and looking at ways to deal with the problem.
And she made the poem public to show the anguish and pain bullying can cause. Gabbi added: “I know this may be uncomfortable for people to read but this is what was going on in my daughter’s life before she died. In her own words, this is how she was feeling.
“I want young people to think about the potential impact of their behaviour before they act.
“We all need to be motivated by love and kindness, not nastiness and hate.”
Tragic Izzy was found dead by her mum at their home in Brixham, Devon, on September 17 – two months after the music festival.
The youngster’s poem was read out at her funeral – as mourners, including her many friends, broke down and wept.
Gabbi launched an online petition calling on the Government to ban Ask.fm. It has attracted more than 8,000 signatures.
She has also lodged a formal complaint with the chairman of governors at Izzy’s school, Brixham Community College, about its bullying policies.
Police are not treating Izzy’s death as suspicious. An inquest will be held at a later date.
I Give Up by Izzy Dix
Happy and fresh,
Ready and excited
To celebrate the goodness.
I am eager and keen to have a good time.
As I smile from the bubbles of anticipation whizzing around my stomach,
I begin to see the crowd,
I see more people,
Many are happy and joyful.
They’re there like me,
I smile at them and say hello to the many faces I see,
They look shocked and surprised to see me,
I question their judgmental glares as I wonder,
‘What have I done wrong?’
I see their drinks swilling in their fingers as their backs begin to face
I try to edge my way back into the circle of giggles and talking,
They push me away.
I stand still,
My eyes glazed and absent.
Suddenly they call me over,
I think, ‘yes! They’ve noticed me!’
But then it begins,
They start to ask questions,
As to why I am there.
They begin to tell me that nobody wants me there,
They tell me to leave and that I am not wanted,
Not there, not anywhere,
I feel pricks of stinging begin to pinch my eyes as cheeks begin to burn.
‘Don’t let them see you,
Don’t show them that you’re weakened,
Weakened by their remarks’,
‘Stay strong’ I think,
But it’s too late,
My palms, clammy,
My cheeks, streaming,
My neck, sweating.
I walk quickly away from the chanting and laughing,
My vision, spinning,
My heart, beginning to break.
I look down and walk,
My eyes drowning in a sea of emotion.
Another piece of me chiselled away by their cruel remarks and perceptions,
I give up.
IZZY DIX took her life at 14 – then her mother was trolled online
Izzy Dix took her life at 14 – then her mother was trolled online
Two years ago, at the age of 14, Izzy Dix took her own life.
Her mother, Gabbi, describes the grief she felt as a “living nightmare”.
But, in addition to mourning her only daughter, Gabbi has had to contend with internet trolls – people who have posted obscene abuse about Izzy online.
“I think I temporarily lost all faith in humanity when we were being trolled,” says Gabbi. “I think it’s a feeling of who is it, why is this happening? It’s incomprehensible. In addition to nasty messages, trolls also shared mocked-up images depicting Izzy’s death.
Listen to the The Story of Izzy Dix On in five episodes throughout Anti Bullying Week.
People think they’re anonymous and therefore think they can’t be caught
“I don’t have any words for the trolling on top of the grief. It was absolutely shattering,” says Gabbi.”Suicide shatters lives anyway, losing a child completely breaks you, but then to be trolled and for someone to try and break you further…
“It’s alien to me because it wouldn’t be in my behaviour to do that to somebody. When someone is grieving, you need all the support and the compassion.”
Dr Jacqui Taylor, who has investigated cyber psychology for the past two decades, says the images that were sent to Gabbi are “absolutely shocking”.
She explains: “They’re very much in line with what trolls produce. And at the end of the day they are either trying to gain attention or pleasure from the negative impacts on other people.”
Gabbi is not the only person to have been trolled while the media is focused on their grief.
The family of Lee Rigby, the soldier killed by extremists in Woolwich, and the family of Madeline McCann, the girl who went missing in Portugal, have also been affected.
“Trolls will target these kinds of people because they’re at their lowest ebb and they are perceived as weak,” says Dr Taylor.
“It’s very similar to the research done on cyberbullying. The types of victims of cyberbullying are perceived as weak or different in some way.
Dr Taylor says there are a number of reasons why someone might become a troll, and why they choose to target particular people.
I don’t have any words for the trolling on top of the grief. It was absolutely shattering – Gabbi Dix
“I think if you choose a case in the media [like Gabbi Dix], you’re going to get maximum attention,” she says, adding that, in the troll’s mind, it gives them a “heightened self-esteem”.
There are three main causes as to why people troll, Dr Taylor says.
“People think they’re anonymous and therefore think they can’t be caught, or they can’t actually see the person they being negative to.”
The second cause relates to a troll’s personality and what their levels of impulsivity and empathy are.
And finally, there are group theories, where “an individual really wants the status of the group” and for those people to think highly of them.
When the trolling first started, the people close to Gabbi tried to hide it from her.
“Gabbi didn’t ever see it, she knew something was happening but didn’t realise what it was,” says her friend Sandy. “I had to let her know about the trolls when something was posted in her name.”
A fake profile had been set up in Gabbi’s name, filled with hateful comments about Izzy. Under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, it says it is an offence to send content which is “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”. In 2004, seven people were jailed for this type of offence. A decade later, in 2014, 155 were, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.So far, Devon and Cornwall Police have not arrested anyone after Gabbi and Izzy were trolled. They say they “can’t comment on any potential live investigation”.