Terri Calvesbert: Badly burned teen fights cyber bullies

Terri Calvesbert
Image caption Terri Calvesbert says the experience of growing up with burns has made a person strong enough to cope with being targeted by trolls

A woman badly burned in a house fire as a baby said she refuses to be defeated by cyber-trolls who bullied her online.

Terri Calvesbert, now 19, suffered 85% burns as a toddler at her Ipswich home in 1998.

Recent pictures of her posted on social media prompted online abuse, and were shared thousands of times.

Terri, who said she is "strong enough" to cope, has launched an online anti-bullying page, and is petitioning the government to take action.

Now living in Sudbury, she said was "really angry" at a Facebook post which asked people to "like and share" if they were "not ashamed" of a picture of her.

Image caption Terri Calvesbert and Michelle Wright have joined forces with friend Gavin Jaques to set up the anti-cyber bullying Facebook site

The post has been reported to the social media site.

However the teenager insisted living with such serious burns has equipped her with the strength to cope with online trolls.

Terri, whose story was first reported in the Ipswich Star, said: "I can't pretend for a single moment that it's been easy for me growing up, but I'm a stronger person as a result.

"I'm not going to let it get me down, but I do want it to stop."

Terri and and two friends, Michelle Wright and Gavin Jaques have set up a Facebook site called the Campaign to stop cyber bullying.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The Facebook page campaigning to stop cyber bullying can be found online

They will urge the government to get Facebook to take down offensive posts, delete accounts and track offenders down.

Her friend, Michelle Wright, said: "Most people would be appalled that trolls could pick on her. I just knew a lot of people would have got behind it. Terri is so brave."

MP James Cartlidge has taken up the case and has written to home secretary Amber Rudd to bring it to her attention.

Facebook said attacks of this kind would not be tolerated and that the offensive content had been removed.

Image caption Terri, when she was nearly three, after spending eight months in hospital.
Image caption Terri filmed back in 2002 at the burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford