Friday, January 20, 2012

Bullycide's "Other" Victims

By now, we all know of bullycide and its victims.  It's become a lexicon as it pertains to the recent escalation of teen suicides.  Bullycide has claimed far too many victims this year alone.  We now hear regularly of another teen who was bullied relentlessly until they reached their breaking point and ended their life.  But, there are other victims of bullycide.

Surely, the families and friends of these teens who gave up too soon, who couldn't take another day of the torment are unintended victims, themselves.  And, unlike the teen who is no longer suffering, these people are left with a lifetime of unfathomable pain and struggle.  In fact, the pain is unrelenting.  In many cases, the families of these targeted victims have turned their pain into positive action.  While allowing themselves time and space to grieve their loss, they've also immersed themselves in activities and causes in attempt to prevent another family from having to deal with what they're going through.

Sometimes, their positive energies and actions aren't enough to save them from the inner pain they deal with on an everyday basis.  Even the strongest steel breaks under too much pressure.  In November, it was Roger Crouch, father of Dominic who had succumbed to bullycide the previous year.  Roger turned the pain from Dominic's suicide into a massive and effective effort to not only bring worldwide awareness to the problem, but to also reach out to other families who were walking the same walk.  Then, the steel broke.  November 28, 2011, Roger ended his pain.

Kameron Jacobsen was 14 years old when he lost his life to bullycide January 18, 2011.  And, from that tragedy, Kevin and Wanda Jacobsen set out on a mission, not unlike Roger Crouse's, to make a difference, to do their best effort to save even just one family from suffering through what they were going through.  They created KAM, "Kindness Above Malice".  In Kameron's honor, and to help alleviate their own pain, they set out to reach out to other teens, both the bullied and the bully, in an effort to help bring this madness to an end.  Saturday, January 7th, Kevin Jacobsen took his own life.  The steel broke once again.

As witnessed by the brutal beating witnessed by tens of thousands earlier this week of a Chicago teen, we have a very, very long way to go before we can begin to celebrate victory.  And now, with the loss of Kevin Jacobsen, as well as Roger Crouch before him, we're seeing that bullying has a crippling ripple effect.  So, the battle continues...and, intensifies.

To Kevin Jacobsen, may you rest in peace with your son, Kameron.  Thank you for your efforts in the fight to end bullying and bullycide.  And, to Wanda Jacobsen, our prayers and condolences are with you.  May you find peace.