Bullying victim's suicide shocks The Netherlands

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

A shocking death notice in a local Dutch newspaper has sparked a heated discussion in the Netherlands about bullying.
Twenty-year old Tim Ribberink committed suicide, and his parents published his farewell note in the death notice.  “Dear Mum and Dad”, it reads. “All my life I’ve been mocked, tormented, bullied and shut out. You’re both fantastic. I hope you won’t be angry with me. Until we meet again, Tim”.
The death notice has led to a storm of shocked and emotional reactions on Twitter and the internet, with comments such as 20yrs old, holland, killed himself because he was bullied. so sad.. STOP BULLYING!! r.i.p. tim. <3 gone, but not forgotten.. and  “Yes, it’s shocking, but it should be. Tell your children, tell everyone. Bullying is hell. RIP#tim ribberink”.  “Bullying needs to stop. Too many innocent people commit suicide. RIP #Tim Ribberink”.  Tim’s family have now lodged a complaint with the police against the unknown bullies.
Tim’s farewell note has brought back bad memories for many other victims of bullying, including Ralph van der Sanderen who made a short film based on his childhood experiences.