Save Thy Rebecca

Far when I am in the clouds,  I won’t sense the pain anymore!

Rebeca was born in a lower -middle class family in the outskirts of London. Since childhood, she was different from the rest of the world. Rebeca suffered from a rare disorder where she struggled to form words. She used to go to the same school as friends of her age. However, she struggled to fit in and always found her alone. She was constantly bullied in the class because of her disorder and that took a toll on her.

One evening on summer break Rebeca and her family were supposed to visit their Grannies. Everybody was ready apart from Rebeca. Her mom reached to her room and knocked at the door several times. When Rebeca didn’t answer or come out of the room, after several unsuccessful attempts the mother started panicking and called her husband. “Peter.. Peter….. Can u please come?… Rebeca is not opening the door”… Peter rushed towards the room and banged the door a few more times but there was no response. Panic shook the family to the grit. They broke into the room and froze on the tracks. They were in complete shock as their daughter, Rebeca was hanging from the ceiling. She chose to take her life as she couldn’t bear the humiliation anymore. Peter found a note on the table Sorry, mom and dad, I Love you both but I cannot go through all of these for the rest of my life.”..

The neighbours called the ambulance and informed the police. The police took the body for autopsy, and then handed over the body back to the family after 24 hours. 

It was an open and shut case of suicide. But was it really? Rebecca’s parents knew there was more to it and they were determined to find out. The devastated couple needed closure, a reason for the chaos which led their daughter to take her life.

Rebecca’s parents found few disturbing scribbles and pictures at the back of her notebook. When they visited her school, to their utter disbelief, they found out that there were several kids in school who bullied her every single day. Further to the investigation they found that Rebeca had complained about the events  multiple times to management, faculties and to the Headmaster as well. Everytime, her complaints went unheard and she asked to ignore such things. The faculties always dismissed her saying those were her fellow mates and we’re just playing with her. She was told she was overthinking it. None acknowledged her suffering and the practice of bullying that was happening in the school.

Had everyone at school not taken this matter so lightly, it wouldn’t have cost Rebecca her life. Rebecca’s mother wanted the bullies to be punished and she registered a case against the students involved and the ignorant management.

It is 3 months today since Rebecca left all of us and the case is still going on with no conclusion. With no substantial proof, the court cannot take any actions and unfortunately, there isn’t any apart from a suicide note which clearly did not mention any reason. Rebecca’s case was weak and it is only a matter of time that the case would be closed with probably a mere warning to all parties involved. 

But will justice be ever served to the young life? Rebecca’s parents are devastated and seeing the case close will break them all the more. They cannot fathom what their little girl might have undergone all this while and knowing the fact that she never took the courage to come speak to them would kill them all the more each passing day. Rebecca’s parents now feel that they failed in parenting. And it is obvious to feel. Had there been that level of communication and life lessons imparted, had they spent time with her to find out about her life, the situation would have been different. The ignorant faculty would keep the same course and the bullies would roam freely again and who knows, probably weeks down the line, there would be news of another Rebecca at some street.

Yes, raising a kid isn’t easy but imparting life lessons, responsibilities, etiquettes and the difference between right and wrong are the responsibility of us adults as parents, guardians and teachers. We all have to come together to bring the change. We all have to save our Rebecca’s!

Bullying is never fun, it’s a cruel and terrible thing to do to someone. If you are being bullied, it is not your fault. No one deserves to be bullied, ever” – Raini Rodriguez

©Arpita

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