WARNING: Some details in this story are disturbing. Discretion is advised.
A teen girl and her mom are speaking out Monday about what they say is a vicious case of bullying
“It’s been very stressful and it’s impacted me a lot,” the victim, who cannot be identified due to her age, told Global News.
“Like, I can’t leave my house. I just sit at home all day. I have a couple of tears here and there because I don’t know what to do with myself just sitting at home and not being able to do anything without worrying that someone’s going to come up behind me any moment and hurt me.”
On Saturday night, she said she was walking with two friends near Pitt Meadows Secondary School when she said a group of girls started running up to them, chasing them and finally physically assaulting her.
“And then I got slapped, and I blacked out and fell to the ground,” she said, adding that she had a glass bottle thrown at her back, which then shattered across her lower neck.
Part of the incident was filmed and the video shows the victim on the ground surrounded by several other girls yelling at her and kicking and punching her.
The victim said her head was smacked into the pavement and the attack left her with a concussion and several fractures.
“I have a fractured left shoulder, a fractured back. I have a fractured chest, like chest and neck, and I have a concussion and minor brain damage.”
The victim told Global News the bullying behaviour has been going on since September and she is now home-schooled as she is too scared to go to school.
“I can’t leave my house without my mom with me or a big adult with me because … something can occur at any moment,” she said.
Ridge Meadows RCMP have been called and the victim said they have been in contact.
“I honestly thought I wasn’t going to make it,” she said. “I had an officer tell me that if I didn’t get away in time, I would have. Most likely it would have been a different trip to the house for him.”
The victim’s mother said she was called by her daughter and all she could hear was a “blood-curdling scream.”
“I could hear her screaming and crying and she said, ‘Mom, I’m going to die’,” the mother said. “And she just — I just, I lost it because I’m not there and I have no control.“
She said she couldn’t rush over there due to two other little kids at home but she called her sister who lives close by so she could go and help and pick up her daughter.
“And then finally, I do have an app that tracks her. So I knew she was moving,” she added. “So I knew she was on her way home. But it was just — I didn’t know what to expect when she walked in the door. I had no idea what she was going to look like. I was quite surprised that she didn’t have as many surface wounds that were visible then. But she was a mess.”
The mother said her daughter struggles to sleep every night, she has high anxiety and she worries that her mental health is going to suffer because she is forced to sit at home all the time.
But she also wanted to speak out to let others know they are not alone.
“I’m concerned for all the kids that are in her position just simply because of the fact that they’re so young,” she said. “They don’t really have the mental coping mechanisms to process situations this violent. And they’re triggering such traumatic responses in them that they’re constantly living in fight or flight mode. And they’re always on survival mode. They’re tired, they have anxiety and they’re just not getting to be kids anymore.”
Kal Dosanjh, the CEO and founder of KidsPlay Foundation, works to get youth involved in sports and recreation activities as a way to build confidence and leadership skills.
He told Global News that the family has reached to them and they have worked together in the past.
“To have a child that has experienced something so tremendously violent and impactful, it has a ripple effect not just on the child physically and mentally, but more firmly on the family as well,” he said. “And we’ve seen significant examples of this.
“As a parent, I can’t even imagine what my child would be going through if they experienced something similar to that. Essentially, where they show up to a particular location, they’re jumped by multiple assailants at the same time, left with very serious injuries and that child is now scared to leave the house. And as a parent, I would be concerned if my child is out there that they could get jumped and attacked again any time.”
In April, a Surrey teenager received an 18-month conditional sentence for their part in an assault of a teenager in Surrey in May 2022.
The youth involved was the third suspect to be sentenced in connection with the incident and had pleaded guilty to assault.
The first youth suspect received their sentence on Jan. 11, 2023, after pleading guilty to assault causing bodily harm and another charge of breach of release.
“After receiving credit for 161 days of pre-sentence time, the offender was placed on an intensive support and supervision order for 18 months with 18 months less and one day of probation to follow,” BC Prosecution Service staff said in an email in January.
On Jan. 27, the second youth suspect received their sentence after pleading guilty to assault.
They received a conditional 18-month discharge.
“I think what’s fuelling it is the advent of social media has definitely poured fuel on the fire. Essentially these kids have cellphones where they’re recording and releasing live footage on various social media platforms,” Dosanjh said.
“And these kids that are watching it, they think it’s a pure source of entertainment. Well, there’s nothing entertaining about the fact that somebody’s being assaulted, let alone the fact that you should have a moral and social obligation, and responsibility, to notify law enforcement when you witness something (like) that.”
He added that this behaviour of kids luring victims, jumping them, assaulting them and videotaping the incident is on the verge of an epidemic.
“But in the same vein, there’s some solace in consultation with the fact that law enforcement agencies are taking it seriously and there are charges being pursued and these kids are being held accountable for their actions,” he said.
Dosanjh recommends parents get the help their kids need and reach out to organizations that offer help and support for a child who has been bullied or attacked and traumatized.
“The Kids Play Foundation and many other organizations out there have held multiple forums and presentations in the past dealing specifically with cyberbullying,” he said.
That cyberbullying can lead to physical attacks, Dosanjh added, and parents need to be involved in their child’s life and talk to them and encourage open communication.
“We’ve always encouraged parents to get involved, talk to their kids,” he said. “And if your child is experiencing something to that effect, have that line of communication. Give that child the help that they need. Bring it to the attention of school administrators or in cases where it’s relevant to law enforcement.”