The sweet face of then 6-year-old Amy “Dolly” Everett became the symbol of the unspoiled wilderness of the country when the Akubra Hats offered her a modeling contract and featured her photos.
But sadly, with the fame came something neither Dolly, nor her parents ever imagined. The sweet girl became target of bullies who made her life a living hell. As a result of the pressure she felt, Dolly committed suicide at the age of 14.
Dolly started receiving insults of young boys who called her a “slut.” Her mom, Kate, said how she didn’t even know whether those boys knew the meaning of that word they used to describe her daughter. She said, “I used to tell her: ‘It will get better, you’ll fit in. Everybody’s trying to fit in and they’re just working out their pecking order. Try not to be mean’.”
Her parents recall how Dolly changed completely. From a girl with a vibrant personality, she turned into a nervy teen who didn’t want to attend school any longer.
As Dolly grew up on a farm, she knew what it felt like to be isolated. However, the bullying she experienced only worsened the situation and intensified the feeling of loneliness.
Dolly’s father, Tick Everett, felt the need to share his loving daughter’s story by writing an emotional message on Facebook. He spoke of his girl’s life and invited the bullies to the service so they could witness the complete devastation they had created.
He asked everyone to join in the fight against bullying as it is something that results in lives being destroyed forever.
The parents describe the night of their daughter’s suicide, January 3, 2018, as the “longest night” of their lives. They were holding the girl’s lifeless body in their hands for hours before the ambulance arrived at the far farm where they live.
“This week has been an example of how social media should be used, it has also been an example of how it shouldn’t be. If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Doll’s life will not be wasted,” he wrote.
The family also added a painting done by Dolly. It was one of a skinny girl bent backwards with a message that read: “Talk, even if your voice shakes.”
Akruba Hats released a statement where they expressed their disbelief and shock by the news of Dolly’s tragic death. They started a campaign to help spread awareness regarding bullying.
The Everetts on the other hand started a foundation in Dolly’s name called Dolly’s Dream. This foundation supports charities and contributes to positive changes.
It’s amazing how Dolly’s family showed so much strength during the darkest period of their lives.
They were willing to share their daughter’s story in order to prevent other young children to become victims of bullying.