Update 10/16/2012 3:45pmPST: Cause leader Amanda Saracen sent us a message stating that she’s been in touch with Amanda Todd’s family.“I thank you so much for getting the cause noticed. A friend of Amanda’s family reached out to me and told me that the family is hoping for 1 million signers. Hopefully we can get this done for them and Amanda Todd herself!”
Last week, ABC News International reported a story about the tragic suicide of a 15-year-old Canadian girl named Amanda Todd. Reportedly, Amanda became the target of a cyber bully who blackmailed her over a lewd photograph (you can read the details through the ABC News link). Amanda Saracen, a Causes user, became aware of the story and felt compelled to create a petition asking Canadian law enforcement to prioritize the arrest of the person(s) directly associated with the case. Since launching her petition on October 12, more than 170,000 people from around the world have shown their support by signing.
Yesterday, cause leader Amanda sent an update to users telling them why this is so important to her. From her petition page update:
“First of all, I am the single mother of a thirteen year old girl and when I saw Amanda’s video it broke my heart. I thought of my own daughter and how devastated I would be if something like this happened to her…I originally heard about Amanda through a tweet on Twitter. I watched her video and got very upset, like most everyone that has watched it. At that time, I didn’t know that she had already taken her own life. I started writing her a response telling her that she was not alone and that I would be there for her. Then when I went to post it, I saw another post saying that she had killed herself no less than 8 hours before. I thought to myself, no this can’t be real. This is a hoax. But as we all know now; it was not. I started crying and I felt like I had let Amanda down. I could have been the one to make a difference if only I had seen it sooner.”
Bullying is a big topic in the month of October. In 2006, PACER Center — an organization created by parents of children and youth with disabilities to help other parents and families facing similar challenges — inaugurated October as National Bullying Awareness Month.
The campaign was created to unite communities in the effort to raise awareness about bullying through activities and events. It’s a community that cause leader Amanda, along with her daughter Gabrielle, believe will lead to a more compassionate society. “So many of you have commented and shared your individual stories. Many of you have lost friends and family members due to bullying violence. Please continue to stop by our cause and network with others so that together, we can make a difference!” In just one day, that community inspired 47,000 people to sign the petition, while more than 5,000 people took the time to write a comment supporting her cause and share in their mutual grief with a newfound community. For now, Amanda’s voice has sparked an invaluable debate about the consequences of bullying.
Visit Amanda and Gabrielle Saracen’s petition page to learn more about the Amanda Todd case and leave a comment to tell your own story.