Hope Witsell By: ngan nguyen

Background Slide:

  • Name: Hope Witsell
  • Age: 13 years old
  • Lived in Sundance, Florida
  • 1996-2009
This is Hope Witsell, she's 13-year-old, lived in Sundance, Florida

What Happened

Hope was 13 years old and she lived in Sundance, Florida. Hope liked farming and she was very passionate about it. And she was also passionate about a boy.... So to get his attention, she sent him a nude photo of herself. Then, a girl has that boy's phone and then she sent it to everybody. Not stop by there, she also send it to students at six different school in the area. The picture became viral at her school and the other schools.

Hope's mom warned her many times about dark side of technology. Hope knew that she had made a bad decision and she was struggling to overcome the mistake that she made. Hope had become a target for 11-, 12-, and 13-year-old bullies. People started calling her names such as slut, skank, hoe, whore, etc. But she didn't share her pain with her parents. Even when the bullies wrote horrible things about Hope on a MySpace page called the "Shields Middle School Burn Book" and started a "Hope Hater Page".

On Saturday, September 12, 2009, Hope Witsell helped her father mow the lawn. They cooked a special seafood dinner together as a family. Then Hope disappeared to her room upstairs. Her parents stayed downstairs and watched TV. Then her mom, Donna Witsell, went upstairs to go to her room and kiss her goodnight. That was when she found Hope. She screamed for her husband. And started doing CPR. But it was too late. Hope was already dead. She had used her favorites scarves to hang herself from her canopy bed.

How to Help Somebody with Suicidal Thoughts

  • Don’t tell the person they are wrong or that they have a lot to live for. Instead, get them immediate medical help.
  • Keep weapons and medications away from anyone who is at risk for suicide. Get these items out of the house or at least securely locked up.
  • Listen
  • Don't leave the person alone
  • Take it seriously

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