“My daughter Catherine Daisy Coleman committed suicide tonight,” Melinda Coleman wrote. “If you saw crazy messages and posts it was because I called the police to check on her. She was my best friend and amazing daughter. 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!”
Daisy Coleman was one of the teenagers featured in the Netflix documentary, which followed her and her family dealing with the trauma of her alleged rape at a Missouri house party when she was 14. The film, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
“She never recovered from what those boys did to her and it’s just not fair,” her mother wrote. “My baby girl is gone.”
Audrie & Daisy also focused on the sexual assault of Audrie Pott in September 2012 in California. Audrie died by suicide ten days later.
After the Netflix documentary, Daisy Coleman used her platform to co-found the organization SafeBAE, dedicated to ending sexual assault on middle and high school students and helping survivors. SafeBAE released a statement on Twitter following word of Coleman’s death, saying they are “shocked and saddened” by Coleman’s passing. You can read it in its entirety below.
As press are beginning to reach out, we wanted to release a statement so that we can all remember her for the legacy of her work: “Through our shock and sadness, we are releasing a statement about our loss of Daisy.
As all of our supporters know, Daisy has fought for many years to both heal from her assault and prevent future sexual violence among teens. She was our sister in this work and much of the driving force behind it. We were not just a non-profit team, but a family.
We are shattered and shocked by her passing from suicide. She had been in EMDR therapy for 2 years, working on her triggers and healing from the many traumas in her life. She had many coping demons and had been facing and overcoming them all, but as many of you know, healing is not a straight path or any easy one. She fought longer and harder than we will ever know. But we want to be mindful of all the young survivors who looked up to her. Please know that above ALL ELSE, she did this work for you.
She loved talking to young people about changing the culture and taking care of one another. Much of her healing came from each of you. She was so proud of the work we’ve done and loved seeing so many fierce young activists push for change in their schools and among their friends.
She would want young survivors to know they are heard, they matter, they are loved, and there are places for them to get the help they need. And she would want everyone else – peer allies, educators, parents, legislators, religious leaders – to come together to help stop sexual violence and help save teen lives. As advocates we know survivors of sexual assault are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide than those who haven’t experienced sexual assault, and that is why we will keep dedicating ourselves to this work in her legacy. There’s no question that is what she would want. #fordaisy
All of our love, SafeBAE
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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