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A teenager of the Durban suburb of Wentworth tried to commit suicide after her name was put on a so called “sluts list” that has gone viral on Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger.
The teen discovered her name was on the list last Wednesday and tried to overdose by drinking a cocktail of household detergents and petrol. She was taken to hospital where doctors were able to remove the toxins from her body.
She was discharged from hospital on Sunday, close family associates said.
The girl’s family did not want to be interviewed.
This incident is yet another example of the increasing trend of cyberbullying in schools.
The list was started by an anonymous person using the BlackBerry Messenger service earlier this year with the names and details of 10 teenage girls from Wentworth.
As the list went viral in cyberspace more names were added as it was passed from one user to the next.
None of the parents has reported the incident to police.
But police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, urged parents to report cyberbullying to police.
“We have not received any reports but if we do, we will investigate,” he said.
Now, a mother whose 17-year-old daughter’s name was put on the list at the weekend is urging parents to take a stand against cyberbullying, saying her daughter has been left traumatised by the incident.
Wendy – who does not want her real name published to protect her daughter’s identity – said her daughter had discovered that she had been added to the list on Saturday morning.
While her daughter’s name was not on the initial list, it was added to a new list at the weekend.
“When she discovered her name was on this list she became hysterical and started screaming uncontrollably,” Wendy said.
Wendy ordered her daughter to deactivate her Facebook account and cull her contacts on BBM.
“I told her she could only have family and one or two friends on BBM,” she said.
Wendy is urging parents to stand up and put an end to the slut lists.
“The broadcast (of the list) was totally humiliating and no teenager should experience that kind of pain and heartache. Our teenagers are fragile people. Luckily for my daughter there is a strong support system at home.”
Wendy said she did not report the incident to police as she believed they could not help.