COLORADO—On August 4, 2020, Daisy Coleman, an advocate for sexual assault, died by suicide at 23 years old, in Lakewood, Colorado. Daisy Coleman was a featured survivor of a rape case in “Audrie and Daisy,” the Netflix documentary.
Melinda, Coleman’s mother, mourned her daughter’s death on her Facebook Page, writing, “She was my best friend and amazing daughter… 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 allegedly sexually assaulted in January 2012 when she was 14 years old. After attending a party and getting drunk in Maryville, Missouri, she was raped by Matthew Barnett, a 17 years old senior football player, whose grandfather was a four-term Republican Missouri state representative, Rex Barnett. Even though Daisy clearly explained to cops that she was raped in a bedroom, cops could not find any video. Melinda found her daughter, Daisy, who was left on the freezing porch in the cold winter morning. However, Barnett was not charged with statutory rape case because he insisted the sex was consensual, and there was a lack of evidence to charge him felony.
Daisy Coleman and Audrie Pott were featured in Netflix’s documentary “Audrie and Daisy” in 2016. The documentary focused on unfair treatments after the sexual assaults, and how online harassment bothered their lives. A 15 years old girl, Audrie Pott, killed herself eight days after claiming the attack, which she had been raped by three boys at a party in Saratoga, California, on September 12, 2012. “Audrie and Daisy” won a Peabody Award by praising as “an honest, heartbreaking, and timely tale of sexual assault and social media, and the repercussions it can have on young lives.”
Coleman experienced online bullying after the tragic rape, and she was hospitalized because of a suicide attempt due to the traumatic experience. After her recovery, she co-founded SafeBAE, a non-profit organization, “a survivor-founded, teen-led organization working to prevent sexual assault among teens (grades 6-12),” read their LinkedIn bio. SafeBAE also commented on Daisy’s death on Twitter, “We are shattered and shocked by her passing from suicide. She had been in EMDR therapy for 2 years, working on her triggers and healing from the many traumas in her life. She had many coping demons and had been facing and overcoming them all, but as many of you know, healing is not a straight path or any easy one. She fought longer and harder than we will ever know. But we want to be mindful of all the young survivors who looked up to her. Please know that above ALL ELSE, she did this work for you.”
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is free and available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673. You will be able to connect with the professional staff in your area. If you prefer to use online chat, reach out to RAINN.org’s website anytime you need it.