Best friend urges bullying victims to speak out

Sheniz Renay

Renay Sumercan received a call from bullying victim Sheniz Erkan (inset) just before she died. Pictures: Ellen Smith / Facebook
Source: Herald Sun

BULLIED schoolgirl Sheniz Erkan phoned her best friend minutes before she died and said she loved her.

Renay Sumercan broke her silence yesterday to reveal her friend’s last words to her, and to urge other victims to speak out about bullying before it was too late, the Herald Sun reported.

The 15-year-old said she was heartbroken by her best friend’s death.

The pair met at a party two years ago and formed an instant bond despite their different personalities.

“Even when I moved away we stayed best friends,” she told the Herald Sun yesterday. “I loved her smile.

“She brought the best out in everyone. We both could trust each other. We could talk about things.

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Sheniz Erkan

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“We could have deep conversations that I couldn’t have with anyone else, and we had the same sense of humour,” she said.

Sheniz’s shattered father also spoke out on the eve of her funeral.

“They’re just kids. Even adults can’t hold it together – how are kids supposed to hold it inside? In the modern day, they just crack,” Senol Erkan said.

Renay, who said she had also been bullied, said the pair sometimes spoke about being harassed.

“She was good at ignoring the bullies,” she said. “She didn’t care what anyone thought of her.

“But I guess she just couldn’t take it any more.

“There’s only a certain amount you can take.

“She thought no one cared about her.”

The last time they spoke was just minutes before Sheniz died.

“The last words she said to me were ‘I love you’,” she said.

After seeing the tens of thousands of online tributes for her best friend, Renay said Sheniz was looking down and could see that people cared.

She had a simple message for Sheniz’s bullies: “You really don’t understand how severe your actions are until something like this happens.

“I’m mad at the bullies, of course I am. But it hasn’t bothered them at all, because they’re still doing it.”

Renay was frustrated by abusive comments posted on Sheniz’s tribute site.

“It hurts that such a young person had to go through this,” she said.

“How many people have to die before something is done?”

Renay urged other bullying victims to speak out.

“If you’re getting bullied, just really speak up.”

Do you need to talk?

Lifeline – 13 11 14 (24-hour help line)
SANE Australia on 1800 18 SANE (7263)
Beyondblue Info Line 1300 22 4636

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