Two young girls have been arrested for bullying 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick to death, but investigators now say that relentless online bullying was only part of what Rebecca had to endure and may have only contributed to her suicide. Guadalupe Shaw, 14, and Katelyn Roman, 12, were arrested after endless bullying of Rebecca by Facebook and text messages led to her jumping off a tower, but now lead investigator Sheriff Grady Judd says that a difficult homelife may have also contributed to Rebecca's state of mind that day and that she lived in a "disturbing environment."
Judd told CBS News that Rebecca didn't sleep in a bed at home, but in a recliner. He also said that her sister slept on the couch, and the girls' clothes were kept in grocery bags in the living room. Rebecca's mom, Tricia Norman, has reportedly had numerous run-ins with the law, including charges for writing bad checks, fraud, and probation violation. Rebecca's father has also been absent from her life.
Judd also said that Guadalupe, the 14-year-old accused of bullying Rebecca, whose mother, Vivian Vosburg, has also been arrested after video surfaced of her fighting two young boys, lives in a family that is like "a Jerry Springer episode." He told CBS:
The way she treated those kids was horrendous. The family is just kind of out of control. And children live what they learn.
Families like Rebecca's and Guadalupe's are not uncommon or unique. They can be found anywhere you find poverty, struggle, absent parents, hopelessless, unemployment or underemployment, lack of education, and a sense of having no place in the world and nothing to live for. They can be found in any town, any school.
Dynanics like this can also be found in wealthy families, but poverty makes people and children more susceptible to abuse, out-of-control anger, and degradation. These are the breeding grounds for bullies -- and for victims who feel their only hope to stop the pain is suicide. Bully victims who also have difficult home lives just have that much more to try and overcome -- and sometimes they feel like they can't overcome it all.
What's so sad is that, at 12-years-old, Rebecca couldn't fathom how hugely things could change. They could change so much she would hardly remember this time. But she didn't live to see that come true.
Do you think suicide has many factors or usually one major factor like bullying?