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A mum whose daughter took her own life after receiving grim messages online that read: “Why don’t you hang yourself” has said she wishes she had handled it differently.
Nicola Harteveld didn’t know her 14-year-old daughter, Megan Evans, was being subjected to the grim abuse until it was too late.
Megan, described as “beautiful” and “hugely popular”, had battled the torrent of horrible texts from cyber bullies in secret, and simply responded saying "OK" when told to hang herself.
"I can see things blindingly obvious now that I didn't have a clue back then," Nicola told Wales Online.
"I was completely naïve about it, that I always thought that somebody with a mental health problem, you could visibly see it.
“If your kids were struggling, they'd be in their room, wearing black, listening to dark music – that was my stupid perception of it back then.”
Megan, who attended Milford School, had been receiving “relentless” messages to her mobile all night.
"It was just cruel, evil words – name calling, getting inside her head with relentless mean comments," her mum said.
"Now I can see the signs – she was sleeping a lot in the day because she was being kept awake at night by these messages, but I didn't see that then.
“The secrecy with her phone – she would literally not let her phone from her hands, and I would think that was a bit weird now, but then, not a clue."
The final Megan ever received, in response to yet another vicious comment, is heartbreaking.
"Why don't you hang yourself," the sender taunted.
Megan sent back a single-word reply: "OK".
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It has been five years since Megan’s tragic death and Nicola, her partner Shaun Evans, and her seven kids aged between 20 and 10 have all remembered their loved one.
They've marked each of her birthdays and while Megan's picture beams out from many photo frames in the family home, Nicola still can't bear to watch videos of her.
The mum has since set up the Megans Starr foundation in memory of her late daughter, to raise awareness of mental health and bullying.
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
- In the News
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