Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh
I always like a Melinda Leigh book – she crafts a good story with crime, criminals, suspense, murder all mixed in with a bit of romance to liven the plot. Complex and complicated – but not a laughing matter – teenage suicides from bullying are indeed a serious matter.
Youngminds organisation says: As many as 70% of all young people have experienced some form of bullying and 1 million kids are bullied every week, inside and outside of school.
The meganmeierfoundation says A majority (61.9%) of youth in Missouri reported making fun of other people, and 6.4% reported doing this 40 or more times in the past three months (Missouri Department of Mental Health, 2012).
Exactly 30% of the students surveyed reported that they had been bullied on school property (Missouri Department of Mental Health, 2012).
The website also says that in the 9th-12th grade student population, it is estimated that about 2.2 million students experienced cyberbullying in 2011with nearly 72% of pupils admit to being cyberbullied once or twice in the last school year. For people 15-24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death (SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, 2014).
There is 1 completed suicide for every 15 attempted suicides, and specifically among young adults ages 15 to 24, there are approximately 100-200 attempts of every 1 completed suicide (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control [CDC], 2012).
22% of frequent perpetrators only, 29% of frequent victims only, and 38% of frequent bully-victims reported suicidal thinking or a suicide attempt during the past year. Several environmental risk factors and risk behaviors were associated with suicidal thinking and behavior among youth involved in bullying (Adolescent Health, 2013). (meganmeierfoundation.org). Megan is a sad case of a very young teenager who took her life after experiencing cyber-bullying – perhaps from adults – the case has never gone to court.
All suicide in teenagers horrifying enough but when adults are complicit in the bullying and/or for their own reasons conspire to cover it up or participate then the mixture becomes toxic.
It is this toxic mixture that the Hour of Darkness explores with some horrifying final exposures of just who did what and why. I won’t spoil the story with any more details – you just need to read it and then take very good care of your young teenagers and watch carefully just what happens on their computers and phones – and in school too.