Girl, 12, took own life after being bullied for being raped claims mum

A 12-year-old girl took her own life after she was raped by an older boy after being groomed over messaging app Snapchat, her mum has said.

A vigil was held this week for Semina Halliwell, who died on June 12, 2021 after spending four nights in hospital for a suspected overdose.

Mum Rachel Halliwell said her daughter, from Southport, near Liverpool, was "traumatised" after being raped and groomed.

"She was put into a coma on the Friday (June 11, 2021). The very last words my baby said to me before they put her in a coma was that she was raped," she said.

"She was a fighter. She survived three heart attacks."

She added that the youngster was bullied online after reporting her sexual assault to police.

"After having her innocence taken, Semina was bullied online on a daily basis. She couldn't take it anymore," Rachel said.

Following her death, Rachel feared Semina's bullies would "gatecrash" her funeral. Rachel had initially said "everyone is invited" to celebrate Semina's short life, but she later received some horrifying messages.

Screenshots seen by the Liverpool ECHO appeared to show someone who knew Semina telling Rachel they had been told they'd "get battered at the funeral" if they attended. The message continued: "I'm scared to go".

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Police officers were in attendance at the funeral, which went ahead without incident. But less than three months later, Rachel was left devastated after the grave of her 12-year-old daughter was "trashed" by yobs.

Semina's tragic case was raised at a parliamentary committee on June 23, 2021, when Labour MP Apsana Begum asked then-Education Secretary Gavin Williamson what more could be done to help protect children from sexual harassment and abuse.

Rachel said she believes Merseyside Police "failed her daughter". Merseyside Police said it was "not appropriate" to comment on the issues raised ahead of a planned inquest into Semina's death.

In a tribute to her daughter, Rachel said: "Semina was so beautiful and so funny. She loved singing and dancing."

She added: "I am heartbroken beyond words. There is a void in my heart that can never be filled."

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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