Woman, 25, live-blogged own death on suicide forum while mum was in another room

A grieving mum is fighting for "evil" suicide websites to be shut down after her daughter took her own life in her bedroom just feet away.

Shawn Shatto, 25, poisoned herself last year and live-blogged her final moments in a "pro-choice" forum full of users who encouraged her to die.

Mum Jackie, from Pennsylvania, USA, says she was the victim of web pages in which people share suicide methods and tips on how to avoid raising the alarm — rather than asking for help.

While her mum worked in another room, Shawn ingested a toxic substance, egged on by the other forum users who, sickeningly, wished her "safe travels".

Her final message was: "Just took it. I'm f***ing terrified."

Jackie found Shawn "blue and cold" on her bedroom floor, and at first suspected a heart attack or aneurysm. But when she saw the messages on her phone, she realised her daughter had died by her own hand.

The "beautiful" Amazon worker had been bullied at school and suffered from anxiety for many years, with her mental health taking a turn for the worse in April 2019.

It was around this time Shawn joined the suicide forum. It reportedly doesn't require the dark web or any special software to visit.

Just a few weeks later she was dead.

Jackie says the website, and others like it, is "predatory" and needs to be shut down to save lives, especially with millions struggling with their mental wellbeing during lockdown.

"Shawn was talking with them live," Jackie told The Sun.

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"She said, 'I feel bad because my mum is just down the hall from me'. I was here the whole time, just sitting here, working.

"Someone said their only concern was that, if I heard something, I might call for help and it might not work. That was their only concern.

"No one said, 'maybe you should go talk to your mum before you do this'."

The forum Shawn used describes itself as a "pro-choice" community that does "not encourage, promote, advise, suggest, nor aid suicide in any way or form".

It says it supports members' "right to end" their lives, saying "there is information on this site that if used could kill you".

It has 15,000 members and almost 50,000 online threads.

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There are a number of similar suicide forums that offer users tips about how to end their lives, where to buy poisons and "success rates" for different methods.

Some sick users have encouraged others to film their suicide attempts, and accounts that have been verified as dead are shown with a line through their usernames.

In April this year, a 23-year-old from Leeds died after accessing the same forum as Shawn, The Sun reports.

Jackie says kids are especially at risk from the sites, claiming some users ask if they "should tell my parents" only to be sternly told not to.

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"They tell you what to say to make your parents think you're OK," she said, adding that she believes Shawn would still be alive if it weren't for the forum.

In the UK, the Government's Online Harms Bill calls for an independent regulator to hold tech giants accountable for neglecting child safety on their platforms, and could mean hefty fines for harmful material.

But Jackie wants the forum and others like it taken down from the internet altogether.

"I'll never be the same after this, but I have to fight for Shawn, my other kids, and for every kid out there," she said.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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