Sat, Sep 24, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Cyberbullying leads to suicide attempt in Keelung: police

By Lin Chia-tung and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Cyberbullying over allegations of animal abuse allegedly led a Keelung woman to try to kill herself, police said.

A netizen surnamed Chiu (邱) on Sunday reportedly posted a photograph on social media showing what he said was a case of animal abuse at a Kaohsiung convenience store.

The photograph showed a dog chained to a chair and a note nearby that said the dog’s owner had gone to an expo in Taipei, the dog was not to be fed and that the owner could be reached at the telephone number on the note.

As the post was shared on the Internet and picked up by the media, several “hate” calls were made to the phone number on the note, which belonged to a woman surnamed Lin (林), police said.

Dingnei Police Station in Keelung’s Nuannuan District (暖暖) on Tuesday was alerted to a possible suicide attempt by someone who saw a post on Lin’s Facebook page with what they said was alarming wording and an image of a hand holding many pills.

Dingnei station Chief Cheng Chun-ting (鄭俊廷) said that he immediately sent officer Chan Fu-yuan (詹富元) to Lin’s home.

When Chan entered Lin’s home, she appeared to be in an emotional state, and she told him that she had swallowed a handful of antidepressants, Cheng said, adding that Chan took Lin to a local hospital for treatment.

Lin told police that she had permission from the store owner to leave her dog at the shop after plans for a dog-sitter fell through at the last minute, Cheng said.

Keelung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital director of psychiatry Chen Yi-chih (陳枻志) said Lin received scores of calls intended to intimidate and harass her.

“It is likely to be enough to make her feel like she was drowning in a tsunami and it constitutes a horrible form of collective persecution that is more than a person can endure alone,” Chen said.

People who are subjected to cyberbullying should seek outside help, ignore telephone calls and avoid stalkers by temporarily changing their residence, Chen said.

If they still feel they need help, they should seek medical treatment, Chen said.

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