Rally Raises Awareness for Victims of Bullying - 8 News NOW

Rally Raises Awareness for Victims of Bullying

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LAS VEGAS - Bullying is a problem that plagues teens across the country. That's why at least 100 people gathered in Las Vegas Tuesday night for the It Gets Better Anti-Bullying Rally.

Shay Sinagra attended the event. She shared how bullying devastated her world.

"In sixth grade, I was bashed, and I was punched in my eye, and I had to go to the hospital for it where I was told I was going to suffer from permanent eye damage," she said.

"(I felt) really, really angry and scared after I got bashed. That was kind of a turning point, and it was like okay, I've had it. I went into the closet. I grew my hair long and started dressing like a girl, and I just conformed. I stopped being who I was."

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 12% of teens reported being bullied in person sometime in the last year. Eight percent reported being bullied online.

Read the Pew Research Center Report

Travis Brown was bullied for being overweight and gay.

"It made me not want to go to school sometimes. I would skip certain classes just because I didn't want to be in those classes," he said.

He says he considered suicide and turned to drugs. He says he almost overdosed. "It wouldn't hurt as much, and I would just kind of make it through the day, and everything would just bounce off," he said.

Travis eventually found help. "That's when I decided that it was okay for me to be gay," he said. "Until that point, I didn't know what I was going to do," he said.

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada is one of many places in southern Nevada that provide resources for victims of bullying – gay or straight.

Visit the Gay and Lesbian Community Center Website

"There are people in the community who care," said Mel Goodwin with the Gay and Lesbian Community Center. "There are resources in the community, and young people are not alone. Whatever they're going through, there's somebody out there who cares about them, and there's a resource for them, and they can definitely get help."

Nevada recently passed legislation against bullying, but some argue it is ineffective, because they say it can't be enforced.

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