Great Britain

Netflix’s Daisy Coleman battled ‘constant pain’ over alleged ‘rape’ by Matthew Barnett before her ‘suicide’

TEEN "sexual assault survivor" Daisy Coleman reportedly struggled with "constant pain", panic attacks and flashbacks to her alleged rape by Matthew Barnett before killing herself earlier this week.

It was discovered that Daisy, 23, took her life on Tuesday night after her mother requested police do a welfare check.

Daisy had often spoken out about the abuse she faced during the aftermath of the alleged assault.

When she was 14 years old, Daisy and her friend Paige, 13 at the time, said they were sexually assaulted in the basement of the house by boys who were among the most popular footballers at their school.

After leaving the house, Daisy was put outside her home in sub-freezing temperatures where she was found the next morning.

Daisy was at the center of 2016 Netflix documentary called Audrie & Daisy that highlighted both of their sexual assault cases and how it was handled in the community thereafter.

Both girls were subjected to vicious attacks on social media, and were labelled "skanks, whores" and "liars."

Daisy attempted suicide four times after what she went through, and her friend Paige tried to kill herself twice.

In the documentary, Daisy talked about how she wasn't able to defend herself as it might jeopardize the case.

"I really wanted to stand up for myself because not many people were standing up for me," she said.

In an Instagram post after her younger brother Tristian's tragic death in 2018, Daisy wrote how she hadn't healed from the incident the way she needed to and felt that she needed to struggle with "demons" and put on "a brave face" in order to avoid letting down survivors that looked up to her.

"I have been using so many unhealthy coping mechanisms so I could carry on and keep doing the work I'm doing," she wrote.

"I have been living a life where I am constantly triggered for as long as I can remember."

"I can't even remember the times where I wasn't living in constant pain and dealing with panic attacks or flashbacks.

"I'm not drowning, but just floating until something pulls me under water once more. I can't live like this anymore and I need to start this journey of healing."

Daisy alleged she was raped by then 17-year-old Matthew Barnett.

A popular football player at her school, Daisy talked in the documentary about how she was excited to hangout with older boys the night of the alleged assault.

Years later, her friend Paige remembers Daisy being taken into a room with Barnett after drinking a lot of alcohol.

"Whenever they opened the door, she was just kind of laying there," Paige said.

"Half sprawled on the bed, half on the floor. She couldn't talk. She couldn't move hardly at all. She was completely incoherent."

During a police interview, Barnett admitted to having sex with Daisy that night but told the officer that it was consensual and that she wasn't incoherent.

Any charges against Barnett dealing with sexual assault were dropped after the prosector said there wasn't enough evidence.

In 2014, Barnett pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor child endangerment, for leaving Daisy out in the cold that night.

Another teen faced a charge of sexual exploitation of a minor for recording Daisy and Barnett – but cops never found the cellphone video after he deleted it.

In the documentary, Daisy's mother Melinda claimed there were political reasons behind the charges being dropped.

Barnett's grandfather is Missouri Republican Rep Rex Barnett.

In 2012, the Daily Mail reported that Rex served on at least one committee with Sheriff Darrin White at the time.

Regardless of the harassment and pain she felt years after, Daisy told the Daily Mail in 2017 that she had forgiven her rapist.

"I feel no resentment towards my attacker only because I have come to realize that he was only passing on some form of negativity to me which at some point was passed onto him so once I came to that realization…that made me forgive him in a sense even though he never presented an apology."

In May of 2019, Daisy posted on Instagram after having completed 20 sessions of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapy treatment facilitating the processing of traumatic memories "to bring these to an adaptive resolution", according to EDMR.com.

"I absolutely can not wait to share this journey with all of you who have helped me when I needed it the most," she wrote.

"I adore each and every one of you so much for always having faith in who I am and who I am supposed to be. I wouldn’t be on this path to recovery if it weren’t for every single one of you that helped me along the way with your words of encouragement and donations. Cheers to healing."

Bonnie Cohen and Jon Shenk, who directed Audrie & Daisy, shared their condolences after learning of Daisy's death, Mirror reported.

"Daisy was a survivor and a warrior who spent her last few years helping other survivors and working tirelessly to prevent sexual violence."

"We understand that even as Daisy helped those who suffer, she also suffered herself," they added.

"The Daisy who we knew also would have wanted her work to continue. Now, more than ever, we find it important. to recognize and draw attention to all survivors and continue to fight on their behalf."

Several celebrities, including Emmy winner Amy Schumer, mourned the loss of the 23 year old.

"Daisy Coleman I'm so sorry this world was so unfair to you," Schumer wrote on Instagram.

"You were a warrior a beautiful artist and I'm lucky I got to get to know you and love you. This is a gut wrenching loss and we will continue all your incredible work with @safe_bae fighting for survivors.

"If you want to see Daisy's work you can go to @youngcattattoos the links to some of her work are in her bio. And #audrieanddaisy is on @netflix Rest In Peace angel."

In 2017, Daisy co-founded SafeBAE to help end sexual assault among middle and high school students while assisting survivors.

Grammy award winning artist and sexual assault survivor Tori Amos also wrote of Daisy's death saying she was "heartbroken."

A GoFundMe has been started to help pay for funeral expenses.

"This family has endured more loss and pain than anyone ever should," the organizer wrote. They have suffered so much loss. Now they are faced with final expenses to bring Daisy home to lay her to rest. Please donate whatever you can. Whatever your heart feels you should. Please pray for comfort and peace for this grieving family."

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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