March 10, 2009

Think about this: "Why did she end her life?"


From an interview on the Today show:

“I just had a scan of the room, her closet doors were open and I walked over into her room and saw her hanging. The cell phone was in the middle of the floor.”

A mother finds her 18 year old daughter’s body hanging dead.

Most of us have heard of “texting” or “text messaging”; but have you heard of “Sexting”?

Last fall, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy surveyed teens and young adults about “sexting” — sending sexually charged material via cell phone text messages — or posting such materials online. The results revealed that 39 percent of teens are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages, and 48 percent reported receiving such messages.

And now Jesse Logan was going on a Cincinnati television station to tell her story. Her purpose was simple: “I just want to make sure no one else will have to go through this again.” The interview was in May 2008. Two months later, Jessica Logan hanged herself in her bedroom. She was 18.

The image was blurred and the voice distorted, but the words spoken by a young Ohio woman are haunting. She had sent nude pictures of herself to a boyfriend. When they broke up, he sent them to other high school girls. The girls were harassing her, calling her a slut and a whore. She was miserable and depressed, afraid even to go to school.

“We talked about her being a good kid, a normal kid. Those are most of the ones that are sending out those images,” she said. “Forty-four percent of the boys say that they’ve seen sexual images of girls in their school, and about 15 percent of them are disseminating those images when they break up with the girls.”

It is a growing problem that has resulted in child pornography charges being filed against some teens across the nation. But for Cynthia Logan, “sexting” is about more than possibly criminal activity: It’s about life and death.

Jesse Logan’s mother said she never knew the full extent of her daughter’s anguish until it was too late. Cynthia Logan only learned there was a problem at all when she started getting daily letters from her daughter’s school reporting that the young woman was skipping school. “I only had snapshots, bits and pieces, until the very last semester of school,” Logan told Lauer.

After her daughter’s death, Logan quit her job and was hospitalized for a time with what she described as a mental breakdown. When she spoke about finding her daughter in her bedroom last July, tears coursed down her cheeks.

Jesse had been talking about going to the University of Cincinnati to study graphic design. Her mother thought she was over the worst of the bullying. Then one of Jesse’s acquaintances committed suicide. Jesse went to the funeral. When she came home, she hanged herself.

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