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The mother of sexual assault survivor and advocate Daisy Coleman has died by suicide, just four months after her daughter’s death by suicide.
SafeBAE, the organization founded by Daisy Coleman that educates middle school and high school students about rape and bullying across the country, announced the death of Melinda Coleman on Sunday. The organization wrote that they "lost Melinda Coleman to suicide this evening."
"The bottomless grief of losing her husband, Tristian, and Daisy was more than she could face most days," SafeBAE said in its statement.
Michael Coleman, Daisy Coleman’s father and Melinda Coleman’s husband, died in a car crash in 2009. Tristan Coleman, the youngest of Daisy’s three brothers, also died in a car crash in 2018.
Daisy Coleman died by suicide in August, her mother announced on Facebook over the summer. The 23-year-old was one of the main subjects of the 2016 Netflix documentary "Audrie & Daisy,” which detailed how Coleman was raped at a Missouri party in 2012 when she was 14. She was then left outside her home in freezing temperatures, inebriated, and dressed in only a T-shirt. Her mother found her in a semi-conscious state and with frostbite.
After her assault, rumors and half-naked photos of Daisy Coleman were spread around her school and rural town. She was ostracized and harassed and attempted suicide twice in the aftermath of the incident. Her family’s house also mysteriously burned down following the rape accusations, KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri reported in 2016.
"She never recovered from what those boys did to her and it’s just not fair. My baby girl is gone," her mother wrote in her Facebook post.
Despite the ordeal, Daisy Coleman became a renowned tattoo artist and an advocate for sexual assault survivors.
Now, Melinda Coleman is being remembered for believing in her daughter.
"Melinda was a gifted veterinarian, devoted mother and wife, and talented bodybuilder. More than anything, she loved and believed in her children," the organization said. "It is no accident that she created some of the most gifted, passionate, and resilient children."
SafeBAE notes to anyone struggling with trauma or depression that "you are not alone. There is always help and support available."
The organization listed the National Suicide hotline, 1-800-273-8255, as one of several resources to contact if in need.
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