Before sexual assault survivor Daisy Coleman took her own life last week, she reportedly told friends that she was being stalked and harassed by the same man for months.
Coleman had become an advocate for sexual assault survivors after her own story of rape as a teenager was featured in the 2016 Netflix documentary “Audrie & Daisy.”
Coleman’s mother, Melinda Coleman, announced her daughter’s death in a heartbreaking post on Facebook on Aug. 4, writing that her daughter had still been haunted by being raped in January 2012 at a Missouri party when she was just 14 years old.
“She was my best friend and amazing daughter. I think she had to make it seem like I could live without her. I can’t,” Melinda Coleman wrote in the message. “I wish I could have taken the pain from her! She never recovered from what those boys did to her and it’s just not fair. My baby girl is gone.”
Daisy Coleman was left intoxicated outside her home in freezing temperatures after the attack. She soon became the target of bullying and harassment in the small town.
But friends who knew Daisy said her past wasn’t the only thing plaguing the 23-year-old before she shot herself to death.
“Every media [outlet] is blaming her suicide on her rape, and ignoring that she was going through so much before her suicide, and not putting any blame on this man for harassing her,” an unidentified friend told People, saying that Daisy had been repeatedly stalked and harassed by the same man before she died.
The outlet viewed messages only available to Coleman’s followers that detailed her attempts to call police about the alleged stalking and harassment that she said began in December. On the day she died, she had written on Twitter about being afraid to leave her house to walk her dogs or go to work and said that she had not been eating or sleeping.
She also wrote on Facebook that a man had shown up at her house and pounded on the door. She said she was growing increasingly afraid of the harassment because she believed the man might have stolen keys to her apartment.
“She would rather kill herself than let this man kill her,” the friend told People.
Coleman also said in online posts that the man had posted her phone number on Craigslist without her consent, offering sex acts for money, and created new phone numbers to try to get in touch with her.
“All of this is being overlooked and it’s just heartbreaking, because she was begging for help,” Colman’s friend told People.
John Romero, public information officer for the Lakewood Police Department, told Oxygen.com that on the day Coleman died, Lakewood Police had been to her home to conduct a welfare check.
They arrived around 4 p.m. and stayed for more than hour.
“Miss Coleman met with several LPD Agents. All are trained in crisis intervention,” Romero said. “At no point did she indicate to our agents that she wanted or intended to hurt herself. She had a friend with her who confirmed that she had been fine and had not made any suicidal statements.”
Romero said at the time of the welfare check, Coleman did file a harassment report, but said the department had not had any contact with her before then.
The police were called back to the home around 8:15 p.m. that night after a friend called to say Daisy had shot herself, TMZ reports.
Romero told Oxygen.com that all indications were that Coleman “died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” but said the investigation remains ongoing.
After her attack in 2012, Coleman went on to become a well-known advocate for sexual assault survivors, even establishing SafeBAE, a student-led organization designed to end sexual assault among middle and high school students by providing education about rape and bullying.
As news of her tragic death spread, celebrities including Amanda Knox, musical artist Ekoh and comedian Amy Schumer paid tribute to the tattoo artist and advocate on social media.
“I am sorry this world was so unfair to you. You were a warrior a beautiful artist and I’m lucky I got to get to know you and love you,” Schumer wrote on Instagram. “This is a gut wrenching loss and we will continue all of your incredible work with @safe_bae fighting for survivors.”
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