A grieving father has shared harrowing pictures of his daughter taken moments before she died in hospital after suffering years of homophobic bullying
16-year-old Julia Derbyshire attempted to hang herself in October 2015 after suffering a campaign of abuse from her peers after coming out as gay at the age of 12.
She was rushed to hospital after being found by her father Adrian at their home in Cheshire, where she was placed on a ventilator. However, it was too late to save her and after five days the decision was made to turn off her life support.
This week, on what would have marked Julia’s 18th birthday, her father has shared pictures of his daughter taken in hospital during her final days to help raise awareness of the damage that bullying can cause.
He has started a campaign to offer “support against self harm and suicide” – referred to as ‘Sassy’.
Posting the photos on Facebook, Adrian said: “I can’t tell you all how I feel as I’ve gone past the line of devastation and loss but this devastating story of a beautiful young woman who had given up on herself and life due to others needs to be heard.
“This will be difficult but I want you all to share this post. Awareness is the only way I know to support others and after reading this they may seek help and support.
“It’s probably been one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make releasing Julia’s pictures, but I just couldn’t take another day of seeing beautiful, caring, loving children, teens and adults thinking they are not worthy of love due to hate, stigma and bullying.
“The more we discuss hate and its evil affects the more we can do to end it.”
Bullying is a serious issue. If you or someone you know needs support the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 116 123 or visit their website.