Daniel Radcliffe Laments "Heartbreaking" Recent Teen Suicides
October 04, 2010, 07:46 PM
MTV has an article today with a written statement from Dan Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in the wake of the recent suicides of Tyler Clementi and 13-year-old Seth Walsh.
The actor gave the following written statement to MTV News:
Learning about the suicide deaths of Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Asher Walker, Billy Lucas and Justin Aaberg has been heartbreaking for me. These young people were bullied and tormented by people that should have been their friends. We have a responsibility to be better to each other, and accept each others' differences regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ability, or religion and stand up for someone when they're bullied.
Speaking further about the "responsibility to be better to each other," Radcliffe continued with some advice for those concerned about depressed and suicidal friends or family members:
When a friend is feeling depressed or says they're thinking of killing themselves, we must take it seriously and get them help. [...] My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of these excellent young people. And to all the young people who are being bullied right now, you are not alone. Call the Trevor Lifeline at 866 4-U-TREVOR, because there's always someone there who will listen and who can help.
Dan Radcliffe has previously taken part in a PSA for the Trevor Project
and spoke in February
about his involvement with the nationwide suicide prevention telephone helpline for gay, lesbian,
bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) youth in the United
States. The 24/7 Trevor Helpline can be contacted in the United States by calling 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).
Wow that’s great. It’s so important that people hear this message, thanks Dan!
I heard it on the news! It was all over CNN. That is just ridiculous, I mean no one is perfect in this world. That doesn’t mean we should taunt those differences. If the world were totally perfect, our lives would be horribly boring. What Dan said was totally correct. My heart goes out to those families that have lost a loved one.
Dan you are just amazing! You have touched many people who read this message. Thanks for helping people across the world!
Bullying anyone for who they are is absolutely unacceptable. these people chose to be themselves and all they needed was support, and acceptance. it is sad that we live in a superficial and hypocritical world. you have people telling you to be yourself no matter what and then you got people who will ruin you from the inside out. rest in peace guys.
Daniel Radcliffe is and amazing actor, role model and person!
@ moglet [ITC!]
I would again like to point out, you don;t know me, but let us delve into my life a bit more, shall we? I moved to the US from, lets just say, a far off country that many people have conflicting views about. My parents were both born in the States and their parents before them. However, growing up in a different country entails, of course, different customs and ways of thinking. My 3rd and 4th grade years were ok, but i moved to a new town when i went to 5th, so obviously people were closed minded about anyone new. I got sooooooooooo much crap for being different. But guess what? I didn;t go and kill myself because “life was just too hard when no one liked me.” I was strong enough to get over it and rise above them, and guess what happened? They backed off with their tails between their legs because i wouldnt take any more of their abuse. Now you may all say I am incensative, and maybe in some cases thats true, and im not going to make judgements about youre guys opinions cause it would be hopeless to try and persuade you to see my view of things. I would also like to point out that I do feel sorry for the loss that the family and friends of these kids suffered, but if they were too weak to stand up for themselves then what else is there for me to say?
Hearing this news about Daniel Radcliffe really touched me deeply. I’m 35 years old now, and from the ages of 7 to about 13 I was bullied horribly, to the point that it still scars me today. The bullying I got wasn’t necessarily a punch in the face, or a kick in the back, it was a constant, daily wearing down of my self-respect, my dignity, and my pride. It was public humiliation on a daily basis, to the point that I had to see therapists, went on medication, and had to go into a mental health clinic for a month because I was suicidal. The problem with bullying is that it’s so ingrained into the very nature of human beings…it’s the savage side of us left over from our more primitive days, the side of us that believes we have to weed out the “weak” from the pack, survival of the fittest. Not only do many children look the other way when their peers get bullied (often for fear of being bullied themselves for supporting an unpopular kid), but I’m sorry to say that many adults stand by and let bullying continue. Either former bullies teach their children that bullying is okay (by example or by abusing or bullying the children themselves), or some adults believe that bullying is a rite of passage, something which “toughens kids up”. Some teachers looked the other way at my school when bullying went on (and I didn’t get it nearly as bad as some of my classmates did). When you combine the fact that I was already predisposed to have clinical depression (it runs in my family…my mother has it, and one of my cousins actually did commit suicide), and add to it the isolation that bullying creates, where you feel you have no one looking out for you, then sometimes, as irrational as it may seem, suicide seems like a viable option. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been there, or who feels that people who commit suicide are somehow “weak”…that’s like saying that rape victims are weak, or children that are emotionally or sexually abused are weak…you can’t always fight back. I did get in two pretty major fistfights in my youth, when the bullies pushed me too far, and those fights didn’t solve anything…they just let the bullies know that they could get a reaction out of me and drag me down to their level. I’m not gay myself, but I had a gay friend in high school (we actually became friends over a mutual love of comic books, and I didn’t even learn he was gay until later on). I was subjected to abuse simply because I was friends with him, and I can’t imagine the grief he himself must have suffered. I just want everyone out there who’s been bullied, or feels they’re alone or without any other options, to know that there are people like me who’ve been through it, and that they’re never alone. Sorry for the long-winded message, but Dan Radcliffe’s statement really moved me, and I felt the need to respond.
Good man, Dan.
“We have a responsibility to be better to each other, and accept each others’ differences regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ability, or religion…”
Smartest thing I’ve ever heard. He’s so awesome.
:“I got sooooooooooo much crap for being different. But guess what? I didn;t go and kill myself because “life was just too hard when no one liked me.” I was strong enough to get over it and rise above them, and guess what happened…”
Well, well, well. Aren’t you the better one, because you were strong enough to get over it and rise above them?! Everyone is built differently, be it physically or mentally. The majority of people who get harassed, bullied, abused, or just are depressed in general can’t just ‘get over it’. There are medicines, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and support groups to help those with problems. Telling someone to just ‘get over it’ is the WORST possible thing you can tell someone in those situations! It is NOT a failure for someone to get help with a problem. If you rose above your situation and got your bullies to back down, then good for you. But not everyone is like that, not every situation is the same, and you are being insensitive and judgemental!
I’ve fought depression all my life. I finally had to break down and get help. I am glad that I did, because I was seriously thinking about suicide. It wasn’t me just ‘being dramatic and wanting attention’. Apparently, these teenagers felt that there was NO other way out; no way to live in their situation. It can be so overwhelming. I truly wished that they had found someone or something to help them instead of ending their lives. I am glad that Daniel spoke out about these tragedies, and I echo his sentiments. GET HELP. Call a hotline, speak to a counselor. Let someone know who can help you.
To MJBDE15: Thank you for sharing your story. I don’t want to judge you (or anyone), I just want to talk about what many may perceive as ‘weakness’. There is a fundamental difference between bullying survivors (like you and I for instance) versus the tragedies we’ve seen here. Despite the circumstances, you and I still had a tiny shred of hope and the mental clarity to see the fickle reasons behind the bullying, meaning that we were eventually able to look within ourselves and stand on the solid foundation of our self-esteem in order to get through it. However, that doesn’t always come as easily for everyone.. When you combine bullying with a victim that is clinically depressed, a person who knows no hope, or perhaps even feels at fault for everything that’s going on, the situation changes drastically. For a person living with this condition – in a world that only knows despair, fear, and loneliness, the mental clarity that I previously mentioned is practically absent. The mind is completely overwhelmed by what seems like an eternal catastrophe. I can sit here and describe it in words, but it’s nothing compared to how it feels for them. From my own perspective, I just cannot see it as weakness. I’m very thankful for organizations like The Trevor Lifeline, which can be a beacon of light to those who are lost in the deep, penetrating fog of depression.
@MBDJE15 “im not going to make judgements about youre guys opinions cause it would be hopeless to try and persuade you to see my view of things.” But you seem to think it’s alright to be judgemental about those you perceive as weak. I’m very glad you got through your tough times and thank you for explaining your thoughts, but please understand that all people are different and you cannot dismiss those who have been driven to the depths of despair as weak.
@ZoeyLuna, you have made an important point very well.
people..LOVE IS LOUDER THAN HATE.
there are always, always, always gonna be people who have good heads on their shoulders, accepting others’ differences and embrace each other
It warms my heart to know that Dan would take the time out of his busy schedule to address this issue and let those being bullied know that they have somewhere to turn. And for those who are being bullied I would say keep your chin up! I guarantee there are people who love you, even if bullies have made you forget that. Let’s find a way to eradicate this problem!!!