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Local girl opens up about cyberbullying and cutting
CINCINNATI (Tiffany Wilson) -- Long sleeves, long hours spent alone. Those are just some of the warning signs a local mother wants other parents to look out for. They're indications she says something serious could be wrong.
"Kill yourself, swallow pills stuff like that." Messages difficult for an adult to dismiss. Madie Atwell repeatedly saw those words and others like them on the popular app, Ask fm.
She's in the seventh grade. 12 years old. Five of her friends got similar messages. "If this doesn't get 1000 likes, go kill yourself, I'll buy the rope., F.U., die, kill yourself. Emo", Madie says, "nobody wants you here. Please don't wake up in the morning, make everyone's wish come true."
"Maybe a hundred a day." Despite Madie's close relationship with her mom, this she hid. The bullying was too painful to reveal. "I started to cut. Why, because you have this mental pain and you just get distracted from it."
A lattice work of scars line her arm. A hundred moments of pain. Madie hid the scabs under long sleeves and by spending long hours alone. "I sat down and I talked to her, anything you can tell me? No i'm just tired."
"I could still feel something wasn't right, so I had her spend the night with her girlfriend and I tossed her room" She found the monster under the bed. Bloody tissues and a single blade. "You pick up one and you go, who's this over? Who said what? You pick up another and go who caused this one?"
Sharon got Madie, sat her down and made her start talking. Then Sharon got educated about cyberbullying. What she learned she feels every parent needs to know. "You've got to have access, you go through their iphone, ipad, ipod, you look at every single app they have on their phone and you open it up and that child gives you the password to get in."
If parental supervision doesn't prevent an online attack, Madie now knows where to get back-up. "Stand up for yourself and tell your parents." "i feel a lot better," says Madie.
According to Ask fm's website, the social media app has more than 90 million users. It allows people to ask questions anonymously or they can reveal their names. After numerous reports of cyberbullying, Ask fm now allows users to block any anonymous questions.