The Crime of Suicide Baiting

by Laurie:

A recent site visitor told us her heartbreaking, horrifying story: her son was a victim of suicide baiting.

Be the one who would shout "Stop! There is hope for you! God loves you!" ?

You can, instead, be the one who shouts: “Stop! There is hope for you! God loves you!”

Debra DeAngelo from the iPinion Syndicate summarizes this well in her post, What have we become when suicide becomes entertainment?:

Can there be anything more soul-shredding than your child committing suicide? Yes: discovering that his/her death provided entertainment for a cheering crowd.

Who does that? Who goads a person into killing him or herself? I never thought about that much before. Neither did Kathie Yount of Harrisburg, Missouri. Until she called her son Dylan one random day and a strange voice answered. He identified himself as a medical examiner, and told Kathie that an unidentified man’s body was on the sidewalk six floors below her son’s apartment window at Hallidie Plaza in San Francisco.

Kathie’s own article describes her loss and the horror of the situation in her own post: “Suicide baiting — they cheered while my son jumped,”, writing:

“He died, dehumanized and in despair, in front of 1,000 people who mostly stood watching while others taunted him, provoking his death.”,

This could be compared to the Bystander Effect, a term that came about due to the Kitty Genovese murder case.

Yet Bystander Effect has more to do with apathy than with participation in a crime. Suicide baiting behavior falls more into the area of bullying, as opposed to apathy. It’s taunting and bullying someone to take their own life. This can also be in the form of cyberbullying, as in the case of Megan Meier who took her life after being bullied by an adult posing as a teen on the Internet. (See our related post: How to Stop Cyberbullying.)

An even better word for suicide baiting is sin. Evil personified. It doesn’t matter how many in a crowd are chanting “Jump!” Every one of us must be that person who offers healing and hope, not jeering or apathy. And this happens when we realize that each and every person–including yourself– is unique, created by God for a purpose, and loved by Him.

Every individual has the moral reponsibility to speak life — not death — into the life of others. 

Kathie Yount now feels compelled to prevent similar occurences by increasing public awareness of the crime of suicide baiting, and is pushing for changes in legislation to make suicide baiting a felony. You can visit Kathie’s Facebook page: Support Suicide Baiting Prevention Awareness.

To learn more about God through a relationship through Jesus Christ, visit our sister site: GodTest.com. Not only can He provide healing for your own hurts, but forgiveness if you have in the past caused others pain without considering the consequences.

If you have ever participated in or watched and not stopped a sucide baiting and feel guilt over that, do repent of that and ask forgiveness. Please do not consider this an excuse to take your own life. God can lead you to a new life of encouraging and helping others, possibly even saving the lives of others. You can also help stop the crime of suicide baiting by joining Kathie Yount in her efforts.

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About ThinkingAboutSuicide.com

If depressed and suicidal, get help by dialing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline. IF IN IMMEDIATE DANGER of harming yourself or someone else, please call 911.1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or (in Spanish)
1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432).
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Our blog, Thinking About Suicide, offers personal stories and prayers from those who have overcome the urge to commit suicide or lost someone to suicide. We also list resources related to depression, bullying, cutting and other mental health related topics or news.
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Use our SEARCH box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics. Our authors hope to encourage you and remind you that others in situations like yours have found hope and help. We hope and pray you do too. However, we also encourage you to get local help if you are suicidal: call a counselor or the suicide prevention hotline to connect personally with someone who can help you.

Comments

  1. Thank you for posting about suicide baiting and for supporting our efforts to raise awareness. We hope to lobby for education and training for first responders called upon to diffuse suicide baiting. We hope to prevent others from dying such demeaning deaths. Every life matters. Every human being is important. We must all understand that we ARE our brothers’ keepers My newest post, “Still expecting truth, justice, and the American way” is posted at iPinion Syndicate at http://ipinionsyndicate.com/still-expecting-truth-justice-and-the-american-way/
    I address many issues that you raise in this article, particularly the emotional scars that those who yelled jump must very surely carry. Thank you for helping to honor my son Dylan Yount who died in a suicide baiting in Hallidie Plaza, San Francisco, 2-16-10. Thank you for helping to try to save anyone else from every experiencing this despair.

  2. ThinkingAboutSuicide.com says:

    Thanks so much for the link to your new article, Kathie. This paragraph in your article is especially poignant:

    “We DO know that if Dylan was looking for a reason to keep on living that Mardi Gras Tuesday from a random crowd of anonymous people, he never got it. We do know that the cruelty directed at him galvanized his death wish, even though he was ambivalent all the way to the end. We do know that he had to be convinced for almost an hour to jump. And we do know that 90 percent of all those who somehow make it through a suicide attempt will not go on to die by suicide. Most importantly, we know that first responders have the best chance to control what happens in a suicide baiting.
    They can stop it. Handcuffing and leading away just one person yelling “jump” would go a long way to serve as a detriment for others thus engaged. Clearing the area completely of tormentors seems basic. Using a bullhorn to be heard over the chaos would make good sense. Treating the potential victim with respect and compassion makes even more sense.”

    • Anonymous says:

      I will told to kill myself with my best friend standing there in 8th grade. Thry never defended me and the kid who told me that didn’t know what he was doing. Thankfully I nevermade it past writing my suicide note and almost 3 years later have moved on. People don’t realize the damage that is done by suicide baiting. We need awareness, and legislation that makes suicide baiting a form of manslaughter to stop these lives from ending.

      • One Who Cares says:

        We’re so glad you posted your experience, Anonymous. The reason for sharing this story is to bring awareness and help people overcome such horrible experiences. God has a plan for you, your life, and the people whose lives you will touch. Thank you for being an overcomer. But don’t let that pain fester. Find a local counselor and work it through. Don’t leave those painful thoughts to come back without a plan for how to deal with them. Your life matters and your experience may just save another life. Call the national hotline for a connection to a local counselor:1-800-273-TALK (8255) to help deal with the long term feelings, but also because they may be the perfect opportunity to point you in the right direction to volunteer or help in a program to save lives. Let us know what action you decide to take because overcomers like you help others too. We celebrate your life and the great things yet to come!

  3. “Do the police deserve a Teflon coating?” about the suicide baiting death of Dylan Yount in Hallidie Plaza, San Francisco, 2-16-10, is posted at http://ipinionsyndicate.com/do-police-deserve-a-teflon-coating/

  4. “Suicide baiting is a hate crime” about the suicide baiting death of Dylan Yount in Hallidie Plaza, San Francisco, 2-16-10, is posted at http://ipinionsyndicate.com/suicide-baiting-is-a-hate-crime/

  5. “When police do not protect: a 2010 suicide baiting in San Francisco” is posted at http://ipinionsyndicate.com/paradigm-shift-in-police-protection-a-2010-suicide-baiting-in-san-francisco/

  6. “Dear Kelly McBride: Suicide baiting does lead to suicide” is posted at http://ipinionsyndicate.com/dear-kelly-mcbride-suicide-baiting-does-lead-to-suicide/

  7. “SFPD message to 2010 suicide baiting crowd: Your target deserves to be hurt” is posted at http://ipinionsyndicate.com/sfpd-message-to-2010-suicide-baiting-crowd-your-target-deserves-to-be-hurt/

  8. Oral Arguments for “Kathie Yount et al v. City and County of San Francisco et al” will be heard August 20, 2015, in the First District Court of Appeal, 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco, at 11:00 a.m. regarding the 2-16-10 suicide baiting death of Dylan Yount at the Forever 21 building in Hallidie Plaza at Powell and Market Streets in San Francisco. No room designation has been assigned at this time.

  9. We lost in the First District Court of Appeal San Francisco with their “unpublished” opinion issued on 8-28-15. This does not mean we are abandoning our efforts to be heard. We are filing for the California Supreme Court because we recognize that suicide baiting has lasting detrimental effects on society. What happened to Dylan Yount was the worst event of my life, but what has happened SINCE then in this is much worse for society. It is time to ask why “Yount v. CCSF” has become such a “persona non grata” in California courts. If it is true the police have no duty to serve or protect, or enforce state law (CA Penal Code 401), or stop a suicide baiting where a unwell man who needs help is being attacked — then it is time to ask what we are paying the police for. Our human imperative is to care for everyone — even strangers — if we cannot stand up against this injustice, then what CAN we stand up for? This is my latest: http://ipinionsyndicate.com/suicide-baiting-case-gets-10-minutes-in-court/

  10. We lost in the First District Court of Appeal San Francisco with their “unpublished” opinion issued on 8-28-15. This does not mean we are abandoning our efforts to be heard. We are filing for the California Supreme Court because we recognize that suicide baiting has lasting detrimental effects on society. What happened to Dylan Yount was the worst event of my life, but what has happened SINCE then is much worse for society. It is time to ask why “Yount v. CCSF” has become such a “persona non grata” in California courts. If it is true the police have no duty to serve or protect, or enforce state law (CA Penal Code 401), or stop a suicide baiting where a unwell man who needs help is being attacked — then it is time to ask what we are paying the police for. Our human imperative is to care for everyone — even strangers — if we cannot stand up against this injustice, then what CAN we stand up for? This is my latest: http://ipinionsyndicate.com/suicide-baiting-case-gets-10-minutes-in-court/

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