A mother who endured cyber bullying after her daughter’s death has decided to write about the insidious trend. Lesli Catsouras went public with a wrenching account of losing her 18-year-old daughter, Nikki, in a violent 2006 car crash – and how details of Nikki’s death, including graphic photos and news accounts, became a source of entertainment for some Web users, as well as pain for her family. The tale of her journey, in a recently-published memoir “Forever Exposed: The Nikki Catsouras Story,” is about loss, grief and the larger fight against destructive forces in cyberspace.
After the tragic car accident, some Internet trolls wrote that Nikki was a spoiled rich kid who deserved her fate. Others slammed Lesli’s husband for supposedly letting Nikki drive his car, even though she took it without his or Lesli’s permission. Other nameless cyber bullies spread misinformation that Nikki had been drinking, when in fact she hadn’t. Traces of cocaine were found in her system, but she was not high when she got behind the wheel.
Now that she’s published her book, Catsouras knows the Internet trolls will be back. But for this brave woman, the mission is worth it. “I hope this book will send a message to anyone who has taunted or bullied someone online, or is thinking about it. When you do that you don’t just harm one person … you can destroy an entire family.”
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