Powerful Anti-Bullying Video Released In Honour Of Dolly Everett
It has been more than 18 months since Dolly Everett died by suicide after she was relentlessly bullied by her peers. Now, a powerful video hopes to amplify her voice.
Charlotte McLaverty, 15, remembers exactly where she was when she heard about Dolly's death.
"It was a bullying [awareness] day at school, and we watched her video [in class] in period one," Charlotte told The Project.
"I remember the class being really quiet. Everyone could obviously relate to what they were seeing about cyber bullying... it was a really emotional class."
Dolly, from the Northern Territory, was just 14 years old when she died in January 2018. Her death sparked a national conversation about online bullying, with parents Kate and Tick, and sister Meg, establishing charity 'Dolly's Dream' in her honour.
Now, the charity has released a powerful anti-bullying video urging young people to think about the impact their words can have on others.
Directed by Charlotte, the film features teen actors and is backed by a track from Gen Z rising music star Billie Eilish.
It tells the story of a young girl who is relentlessly bullied on social media and via text messages. Each bully is seen throwing small stones at the girl as she is on her phone -- at the family dinner table, on the couch and in the bath.
Launching the short film on The Project on Tuesday night, Charlotte said having teenagers both in front of and behind the camera was crucial.
"I think the great thing about this film is that it shows everyone's experience of bullying," she said.
"[The] isolation you feel, the throwing rocks, the fact that the bully is there with you, even though she's not, and that no one in the house understands or knows what is going on."
The film ends powerfully as the main character catches one of her bullies' stones, asking viewers: "Are your words doing damage?"
READ MORE: 'Speak, Even If Your Voice Shakes'
Charlotte saw the moment as the young girl "taking back" her agency -- which could reflect teenagers who are facing bullying turning off their phone, or "speaking up".
"I think that's the biggest thing: speaking up about it," she said.
It's a message amplified by Dolly's parents, who hope to continue their daughter's voice.
"Dolly left us with a message, that was, 'Speak up, even if your voice shakes'," her mother Kate said.
"I hope this video will touch home for a lot of teens and help them understand that speaking up about bullying will help to stop it."
Kate added she hoped the video will help parents to understand where and how cyber bullying happens -- even while at the dining table or watching TV.
Accompanying the release of the video is an online resource for parents and carers seeking information on cyber bullying and online safety.
"We're asking teens to start a conversation among themselves and we're providing parents with the right tools so they can be part of the solution," she said.
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.