Her name is Katelyn Nicole Davis. She is going to be 13-years-old on February, 20th. She wears bright red lipstick and her striking blue eyes stare determinedly at the camera from behind dark, smoky eye shadow. The sound of her crunching footsteps, perhaps on frozen grass or fallen leaves, is heard as she walks. She stops and carefully positions the camera on the ground as she fiddles with a tree. Turning back to the camera, she makes a few apologies. “Goodbye,” she whispers in a fragile voice, before hanging herself. The date is December, 30th, 2016 and Katelyn will not live to see her 13th birthday. Her small, dying, body remains there, to the sound of passing cars, as the skies change to crimson then fades into black. It is being streamed live from Cedartown, Georgia on the social media app, Live.Me.
As days meshed into weeks since her death, dark details about Katelyn’s short life have surfaced. A regular blogger, Katelyn wrote in an online diary and made frequent live streams. The Daily Haze published her journals before they were removed.
On 23rd December, she wrote:
“I live in such a poor environment. My bed is not even a bed! It’s an old, rusty mattress laying in a cold, wet floor. The floor is wet because of a broken pipe. My luck, I’m right next to the bathroom, and the pipes is leaky. Therefore, my floor is wet.
This will most likely make someone sick because not only is there leaky pipes, but there’s a huge hole in my floor that leads to outside. It’s the middle of the winter. So, cold air plus wet floor equals sickness. Not to mention that a bird just flew into my room through the hole. That’s my luck.”
In her videos, some of which have been uploaded to Youtube, Katelyn confided to her viewers about her troubled life. In all of them she can be seen in a dilapidated environment, looking after her two younger siblings with little to no parental supervision. Candidly, she spoke about her poverty, depression, and loneliness. She also alleged that her stepfather had sexually assaulted her.
In one entry, she wrote:
“My stepfather did a lot of things to me, that it seems I cannot forgive him for. He physically, mentally and verbally abused me. He struck me with his leather belt that has silver studs, making sure that the studs hit me. He once hit me so hard with the belt on my arm, that my arm started to bleed. He even... He tried to rape me.
I can’t and I won’t forgive him for everything he has done. He told me to “hang myself” just because I asked him if he would stop being so perverted in front of my younger siblings. He cussed me and called me a “worthless whore” and that I should kill myself. He made me sleep in my room that is literally falling apart. He wouldn’t let me do anything. I got into the National Leaders Association for Young Leaders. They were going to help me with my College. But of course, he said I was to stupid to be in something like that, and he burned it in front of my face.
I was forced to see him again on Christmas. That was the worst part of the whole day. He touched my siblings. He touched me, yet we were forced to see him. I will NEVER forgive him.”
In a video, Katelyn argued off-camera with her mother, as she complained about the stresses with always having to look after her siblings, when she was just a child herself.
“You should be responsible for looking after them, they’re not my kids,” Katelyn declared. As the bickering escalated, her mother confiscated her phone to which Katelyn responded, “Why? For just (me) trying to be a child?”
The mother was heard threatening to beat her, as the girl highlighted her mother’s alleged drug-taking and habit of bringing men back to their home. Katelyn accused her of not doing enough about the stepfather. She questioned her mother about why she continued to stay with him for longer, after she knew what he allegedly did. Katelyn sobbed, “He violated me. He tried to get in my pants.” Through parts of the heated argument, a toddler repeatedly pleaded, “Calm down. Calm down.”
Katelyn’s suicide video has since gone viral, with Polk County Police Chief, Kenny Dodd, telling Fox Altanta, “We want it down as much as anyone for the family and it may be harmful to other kids. We contacted some of the sites. They asked if they had to take it down and by law they don’t. But it’s just the common decent thing to do in my opinion.”
A storm of fury has erupted on social media, with many making accusations about child neglect and abuse. Hoards have expressed concerns over the well-being of the remaining children, insisting that they should be taken away by social services. Further demands have been made for arrests and a Facebook page, Justice for Katelyn Nicole Davis, has been set up. To date, the remaining children still remain with Katelyn’s family and no arrests have been made.
Katelyn’s story is not unique. It is a one that resonates too loudly amongst too many children all over the world. They become numbers in marred tales of stolen childhood, leaving behind only the bitter, pungent taste of abuse. Katelyn’s story is what can happen to a child who has been systematically failed. Yet, how many more children will continue to be failed daily? It is estimated that one in four girls and one in six boys will experience sexual abuse before they reach the age of 18.
Please sign my petition below, calling for better laws concerning sexual abuse, and share it with others so they can sign too. It is free to sign and it takes just a few seconds. Please spread the word.
“Like” and follow me on Facebook for more of my work.