Bullying shame: 'There were five girls on one'
WITNESSING a young girl pinned on the ground and repeatedly kicked in the face was too much for Rhiannon Dale to walk away from.
The 19-year-old rushed to help the school student, protecting her from the onslaught.
"They had pushed the girl down, belting her, pulling her hair, kicking her, spitting on her while the boy stood back recording," she said.
"There were five girls on one. I was absolutely disgusted.
"I ran down and pulled all the girls away from her and grabbed this poor little girl off the ground and stood in front of her to protect her."
Miss Dale was crossing the walking bridge above the train tracks in West Bundaberg Monday afternoon when she heard a group of teens verbally abusing the 14-year-old.
When she was almost across the bridge she heard the girl scream and dropped everything, including her groceries.
What she witnessed has left her shaken and shocked that such behaviour could happen in a regional town like Bundaberg.
Miss Dale said she was verbally abused while trying to help and told the group she would call the police, at which point they ran off.
She said the group didn't look much younger than herself and she was worried they may turn on her when she stepped in.
"It was the scariest thing I've ever had to do," she said.
"But I knew I had to help and would want someone to do the same if it happened to me or one of my siblings."
She walked the girl to safety at Hinkler Central where they met up with the girl's mother.
Miss Dale said the girl begged her not to contact police for fear it would escalate the situation.
"The girl was ... literally on her hands and knees begging me not to call the police because it would just keep happening and she said she might not be so lucky next time.
"She told me they used to be friends and the boy was her boyfriend until they broke-up and they started to pick on her.
"These kids would pick on her at school, hurt her, follow her, throw things at her, abuse her over Facebook and Snapchat.
"[They would] tell her to kill herself over social media. They all hacked her Facebook and wrote nasty things to a lot of people and turned everyone against her."
But what the victim could not have anticipated was the outpouring of support from the Bundaberg community, who voiced their disgust at the incident over Facebook page Bundaberg Forum and showed solidarity in their stance against bullying. Some even offered monetary assistance to send her to a private school.
A bullying Facebook page has now been set-up and in the space of a few hours had more than 150 members. Go to the Facebook page Bundaberg Community Against Bullying.