Mum who lost her daughter to suicide now campaigns and raises money for online safety and awareness.
Ruth’s daughter Sophie was 13 when she took her own life in 2014. She had been exposed to unsuitable material online before she died, including violent pornography and sites promoting self-harm and suicide.
Despite her own emotional pain, Ruth, 50, from Dundee, has gone on to be a tireless volunteer for the NSPCC – helping educate people around digital safety.
She backed the charity’s Wild West Web campaign, raising awareness of the need for social networks to have a duty of care towards young users and speaking to the media at roundtable events and press briefings in a bid to stop other families suffering the loss of a child.
Ruth, a nurse, also runs a tribute fund for ChildLine in memory of Sophie – and has raised more than £19,000.
She says: “There are things on the internet that would never be allowed to be printed in any newspaper or you would never see on the BBC or any other TV station because it could do such harm – so why is it easily accessible online?
“All children are vulnerable and, as your children get older, it is impossible as a parent to control what they see online. The onus should be on the companies who make billions out of social media and other platforms to control what is on them in regards to removing harm.
“If speaking about what happened to our family means even one child is protected, then I’m happy to tell our story.”