Topeka teen struggles with suicide after an attack caught on video

Published: Feb. 25, 2020 at 9:16 PM CST
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A girl seen being attacked by other girls in a video posted online is sharing her story to raise awareness of bullying.

The McDowell family said when they saw the video of a girl being attacked last Thursday, they decided to share their own experience to prevent it from happening to someone else.

Liylah McDowell, 13, said she thought she was meeting a group of friends at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library last month.

"Everybody was punching me, everybody was kicking me," she said.

Instead, she was attacked in a nearby alley.

Her father, Michael McDowell said, "I asked her what happened and she said a group of girls jumped her. I said how many and she said 4 or 5."

He said he didn't realize how serious it was until a friend sent her the video the following day.

"It scared me because it's not that she didn't physically have that much damage done, it was the damage they were trying to do. They could have really hurt her," Michael said.

Emotionally, Liylah said she is hurting.

"I am suicidal now over this situation because I don't feel like I'm good enough for nobody."

Her mother, Kassi McDowell said, "It's been very difficult to deal with these teenage years right now especially with her suicidal thoughts."

"Hard to talk to her, harder to understand her, harder to get her to be open and honest with her emotions of how she feels and what's going on," her father added.

The McDowell family said one of the reasons they decided to share the video on Facebook is to raise awareness.

"Something needs to be done to let these kids know that this is not okay to do this and this is the consequences that happen from it," said Michael.

Liylah said she does not hate her attackers, but wants to send a message to all bullies.

"You do make life really hard and people do kill themselves over bullying and it's not okay, so if you are getting bullied, tell that bully to stop. If you're a bully you need to stop," she said.

The McDowell's filed a report with the Topeka Police Department. They continue investigating the incident.