Two girls, aged 13 and 14, tried to commit suicide by drowning themselves on Wednesday night after suffering from cyberbullying on Facebook that apparently escalated to an intolerable level, Army Radio reported Thursday.
The two girls, eighth-graders at the same junior high school in the coastal town of Ashdod in southern Israel, were found unconscious on a local beach by a passerby who alerted rescue services, probably saving their lives. The two were taken to Barzilai Hospital in neighboring Ashkelon, where they were treated for frostbite. One was released from the hospital the next morning.
Preliminary evidence shows that the girls made the suicide pact after becoming the victims of long-term harassment on the Facebook social media site. Their parents and the school have been notified and are now cooperating with police, who launched an investigation Thursday to clarify the details of the case.
Last year, a 16-year-old Israeli committed suicide over Facebook cyberbullying. After months of investigation, the two students who had allegedly tormented him online were found not guilty
Online harassment has been a growing trend throughout the world, and in Israel as well. The United states-based group Make a Difference for Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness and prevention of cyberbullying and suicide, claims that 43 percent of teenagers have experienced online harassment.