Back in 2016, Vivian Kane covered the Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy for the site and headlined it, “Please Don’t Look Away From Netflix’s ‘Audrie & Daisy.’” It is a devastating documentary directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk about two teenage girls — Daisy Coleman of Maryville, Missouri and Audrie Pott of Saratoga, California — who were sexually assaulted in separate instances in 2012. Pott was raped by three boys at a party and became the subject of such vicious online harassment that she took her own life 10 days after the assault.
Daisy Coleman, the other subject of the documentary, was raped by the son of a former state representative, took her life on Tuesday. She was 23.
“She was my best friend and amazing daughter,” her mother, Melinda Coleman, wrote on Facebook. “I think she had to make make it seem like I could live without her. I can’t. I wish I could have taken the pain from her! She never recovered from what those boys did to her and it’s just not fair. My baby girl is gone.”
Coleman’s rapist, Matthew Barnett, was never convicted for the assault, though another boy allegedly used a smartphone to record an attack. Charges were initially dropped against Barnett. Amid the ensuing outcry, he eventually plead guilty to endangering the welfare of a child. He left her drunk and in her shirtsleeves in the snow after he raped her. It was 21 degrees.
Vivian’s words are no less true today:
These aren’t stories we want to hear or see. But they keep happening. Children are being raped, and the response is to blame them, to harass them, to make sure the young white men perpetrating these acts are protected
Our failure to focus on care and healing has devastating results. Rest in peace, Daisy Coleman.
If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.
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