Coleman’s body was found after her mother asked police to conduct a welfare check. “Audrie & Daisy” detailed Coleman and Audrie Pott’s experiences with sexual assault, and how their families coped with the trauma and subsequent rejection from Coleman’s community. The movie, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
“My daughter Catherine Daisy Coleman committed suicide tonight. If you saw crazy / messages and posts it was because I called the police to check on her,” Melinda wrote on Facebook. “She was my best friend and amazing daughter. I think she had to make make it seem like I could live without her. I can’t. 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.”
Coleman was raped at a party in Maryville, Mo., in January 2012, when she was 14 years old. Her perpetrator was never convicted. She was harassed online and at school after the rape, which made national headlines.
Pott was assaulted in Saratoga, Calif., in September 2012. She died by suicide just 10 days after.
Coleman attended Missouri Valley College and used her platform to co-found SafeBAE, an organization dedicated to ending the sexual assault of middle school and high school students. The org also helps survivors cope with their experiences.
“It is with a heavy heart and a deep sadness that we write to you today. Two nights ago, we learned that Daisy Coleman died by suicide. This is brutal news and such a difficult moment for us who knew and loved Daisy personally or were impacted by her story through the film,” Cohen and Shenk said in a statement on Thursday.
“Daisy was a survivor and a warrior who spent her last few years helping other survivors and working tirelessly to prevent sexual violence. We knew Daisy to be open, honest, and irreverent in her work. We understand that even as Daisy helped those who suffer, she also suffered herself. The Daisy who we knew also would have wanted her work to continue. Now, more than ever, we find it important to recognize and draw attention to all survivors and continue to fight on their behalf.”
A Netflix spokesperson added, “We’re deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Daisy Coleman. Daisy’s courage in sharing her story in ‘Audrie and Daisy’ was an inspiration to viewers around the world, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for funeral expenses.
If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.