Teen kills herself after continuous ‘bullying’ over her sexuality
A teenager has killed herself after she was reportedly bullied continuously over her sexuality.
Sophia Santos took her life by suicide on January 24 this year after she came out on Facebook as bisexual.
It is believed that the bullies told the Filipino girl to take her own life in the barrage of homophobia and biphobia they directed at her.
The 17-year-old was also targetted with abuse about her appearance and her gender identity.
Czarine Santos, Sophia’s sister, said that the death has left the family distraught.
“It’s been so hard to think and unbelievable what happened to our family,” she wrote.
“The last interaction I had with you was when I asked you if I look okay with my romp shorts and I did notice your pretty haircut. We sang and even laughed.
“I just think of all the things we’ve been together. What memories we had. The best was when I was doing your makeup on your graduation days. I expected to “Berbierized”“you again after two months for your supposed high school graduation but you ended it so soon.”
Czarine went on to write that bullying exists in all school, regardless of whether it’s in public, private, Catholic or non-religious.
She added that she was using it as a chance to come out in support of homosexuality.
“I hope you learn from what happened to my sister,” she wrote. “Words can kill a person.
“To all the students who bullied my sister because of her appearance and gender, may you all find peace of mind. You destroyed someone’s future. You destroyed a family.”
She finished the post by calling her sister “beautiful” and added that they would always “love” her “whatever you may become and whoever you will be. I will miss you forever and I will never forget your beautiful eyes and smile.”
The post was liked and shared thousands of times, with people offering their condolences to the Santos family.
The research in the Journal of Adolescent Health investigated how sexual orientation and traumatic experiences affect suicidal feelings and attempts in teenagers.
The study asked questions to 5,000 students from 97 high schools in Nevada, United States.
A risk of suicide was linked with childhood experiences of trauma, known as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
These traumatic experiences included sexual assault, domestic violence and physical harm from a parent.
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The study discovered that LGB people without traumatic experiences were four times more likely to be suicidal or have attempted suicide than their heterosexual peers.
The study also found that LGB and questioning people were more likely to have experienced trauma or significant upset in their childhoods.
Over 50% of LGB students said they had been through two or more traumatic incidents, compared to around 25% of heterosexual students.
A study conducted by the National Centre for Transgender Equality in 2016 found that of the 17,715 transgender people surveyed, 40% had attempted suicide.
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.