Daisy Coleman was one of the stars of the 2016 Netflix documentary Daisy & Audrey, and was just found in an apartment Tuesday night after committing suicide. She committed the deed 8 years after the subject of the documentary occurred, her reported rape by then 17 year old Matthew Barnett, grandson of Rex Barnett, a former Republican state representative.
It’s been revealed that Coleman had a wellness check Tuesday around 4 pm after her mother contacted the police saying she felt her daughter might be having a suicide party. Paramedics were sent to the Lakewood, Colorado apartment she was in and she showed no sign of being suicidal or needing to be committed so they left. The call of her being found by a friend dead after shooting herself came at around 8:30 pm.
As the documentary told of Coleman’s life, she was found sitting on the porch unconscious in a t-shirt and sweats in freezing weather by her mother. Barnett said the sex was consensual and his felony charges were dropped with him pleading guilty of a misdemeanor child endangerment charge in 2014 and being sentenced to two years of probation and a four-month suspended jail term. Things were so bad that she and her mother chose to move out of their hometown as even the Mayor said she had some culpability in what happened.
Coleman had become a sexual assault survivor activist and co-founded SafeBAE, an organization that raised awareness of sexual assault in middle and high schools. And she had a hell of a story as she attempted suicide back in 2014. It’s just so unfortunate to see her actually going through with it now. Both stars of the documentary she was in have committed suicide as Audrie Pott did so in 2012.
“It broke my heart,” said Farrah Khan, a survivor of sexual violence who does education across North America about sexual assault consent and bystander intervention and is the manager of Consent Comes First at Ryerson University’s Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education. “We don’t recognize enough what we ask of survivors. … Here’s a young woman who not only was healing from the violence that she was subjected to, but was doing all this activism and work, which is commendable and wonderful, and we hold them up and say, ‘Wow, what a hero.’ But also we need to hold space for the fact that it’s messy, it’s difficult, and it’s hard to survive. There are so many of us who don’t.”
The President of the nation’s largest rape awareness organization, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), Scott Berkowitz said “Daisy, her story, and her advocacy meant so much to advocates and survivors of sexual violence of all ages – but especially to high school students who saw their own stories reflected in hers. Every survivor, advocate, and organization who fights for justice, supports survivors, and works to end sexual violence will continue her legacy.”