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Category Archives: Suicide

Pink’s New Video about Suicide & Cutting among Young Girls

The singer Pink who is known for writing and performing empowering songs about young women’s lives has a new controversial video out. The song is called “Fucking Perfect.” You can click on the link below to watch the video.

From Pink’s website:

A Personal Note From P!nk:

I’m sure my newest video for “F**kin’ Perfect” will be much like some of my other videos, which basically means I expect it will ruffle some feathers.

My favorite books, art pieces, films, and music, always have something jarring about them. I want art to make me think.
In order to do that, it may piss me off, or make me uncomfortable. That promotes awareness and change, or at least some discussion.
That is my intention.
You can’t move mountains by whispering at them.

Cutting, and suicide, two very different symptoms of the same problem, are gaining on us. (the problem being; alienation and depression. the symptoms; cutting and suicide). I personally don’t know a single person who doesn’t know at least two of these victims personally. A lot of us have seen certain starlets showing off their latest scars on a red carpet somewhere, usually right before they head back to their favorite rehab.

Its a problem, and its something we should talk about.
We can choose to ignore the problem, and therefore ignore this video, but that won’t make it go away.
I don’t support or encourage suicide or cutting.
I support the kids out there that feel so desperate/numb/powerless, that feel unseen and unheard, and can’t see another way.. I want them to know I’m aware. I have been there. I see them.
Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Making this video was a very emotional experience for me, as was writing this song. I have a life inside of me, and I want her or him to know that I will accept him or her with open and loving and welcoming arms. And though I will prepare this little munchkin for a sometimes cruel world, I will also equip this kid to see all the beauty in it as well. There are good people in this world that are open-minded, and loving. There are those that accept us with all of our flaws. I do that with my fans/friends, and I will do that with my child, whoever they decide to be.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit TWLOHA

What does everyone think about the video and the statement? Will this help young women who are feeling suicidal seek the help that they need? Or is the video doing more harm than good by wrapping the ending up in a neat little bow?

The young woman in the film seems to have sought no outside help for her issues. It appears that she meets a young man at the end of the video and is able to live happily ever after? What type of message is this really sending to young women in crisis? If you are suicidal, a kind boyfriend is the cure?

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in Art & violence, Media, Suicide

 

On the loss of young women’s lives

Just 2 weeks after writing about Samantha Kelly’s tragic suicide comes news of two more young women driven to suicide after sexual assault.

First, here is news from the Chicago Tribune about Elizabeth Seeberg, a freshman at St. Mary’s College in Indiana:

According to a Chicago Tribune investigation, Notre Dame is refusing to publicly acknowledge that one of its football players allegedly sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman from Northbrook, who later committed suicide. Elizabeth Seeberg was a freshman at neighboring St. Mary’s College when the assault reportedly happened inside a dorm room August 31.  She reported it to police the next day and Seeberg was interviewed by police.  Seeberg provided two written statements and pointed out the football player.  The football player remains uncharged and is still on the Notre Dame football team.

And down in San Antonio, Texas, we learn that Beatrice Delgado, a 17-year old, committed suicide after reporting that she had been sexually assaulted.  The girl, who reported that she had been “tied up, beaten and raped” initially sought medical treatment but then asked to be taken home instead, saying that she felt traumatized and didn’t want to face the medical exam alone.  There, she hanged herself in the garage.  The family is blaming the police officer, who they say refused to provide transportation to the hospital after dropping Beatrice off at home.

Let’s just take a moment to sit with that.  3 suicides in less than 3 weeks of young women who said they had been sexually assaulted, turned to systems for help, and were let down.

We have all been saddened — and prompted to action — upon reading in the papers about LGBTQI youth committing suicide under a torrent of bullying and systemic oppression.  The Taskforce is partnering with youth-driven organizations across Chicago to draw attention to real solutions to make schools safer for LGBTQI youth, and to create positive and supporting communities.  Early next year, we will be issuing specific recommendations for the city, county and state.

At the same time as we take action to support LGBTQI youth, we need to challenge the simplified media message that we’ve been presented with.  In all of the analysis of what leads young people to suicide, where is the discussion of the role of sexual violence?  Where is a discussion of intersectionality, of the ways that various forms of oppression intersect in the lives of young people, leading these particular youth to suicide?  And what systems do we need to put in place to combat this oppression and support young people?  If we do not ask these questions, we will never reach the solutions we are looking for.  Instead of solutions that target the root causes of violence, and that look at the complex and interrelated ways that young people experience violence, we will be left only with the message that “it gets better.”

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2010 in Bullying, Sexual assault, Suicide

 

When systems fail: Samantha Kelly’s suicide

If you have not seen the news from Michigan this week, the suicide of 14 year-old Samantha Kelly in Detroit  is a tragedy that should make us all pause and reflect.  Samantha took her own life due to severe and repeated bullying after she told authorities that a fellow student had raped her.  This series of acts of violence that claimed the life of a young woman could have been avoided, but system after system failed her.

It’s clear that one system that failed her was the news media, which revealed her identity to her fellow students by interviewing her mother on TV.  Here’s Maria Miller, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office:

“Although the child’s face was not seen, when the mother was interviewed, essentially the child’s identity was revealed,” Miller told the News. “After the broadcast, it is our understanding that the child was harassed at school.”

Harassed at school, harassed online, and even now – after her death – the target of taunts and violent imagery on facebook.  The importance of respecting survivors’ confidentiality cannot be overstated, and here is the ultimate example of the harm done when this does not happen.  There is no reason that this young woman should have ever faced the questions, hostility and harassment that she experienced at her school.   Nobody should ever have known, if she did not choose to share her story.

And as Samantha reported to the police that she had been raped, and then began to experience bullying by her classmates, where was her support system?  What was in place to ensure that the young woman making these serious allegations would be supported at her school?  Did anyone in a position of authority turn to local sexual assault agencies to provide support?  Were programs in place to provide peer support in her community? Were staff at her school adequately trained to handle an escalating situation?  Unfortunately, while the press did share her identity, and has covered this latest in bullying suicides, it has failed to ask these important questions and so has missed the point.  Even if there were adults who did their best to intervene, we can be sure that she didn’t receive the support at all systemic levels that she desperately needed, and we need to establish safety nets for young women in our communities.

And now the criminal legal system has failed Samantha as well.  The case has been dismissed, as prosecutors say they cannot proceed without Samantha’s testimony.  With the criminal legal system the only avenue of redress offered to survivors, the case is now officially closed.  We’re left with Samantha’s mother’s words:

“My daughter did not get any justice before this and she ain’t getting justice now.”

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2010 in Bullying, Media, Sexual assault, Suicide