April Bach 0

One does not "Commit Suicide" (It is not a crime!)

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The 2008 (most recent & reliable) National Vital Statistics reported suicide as the eleventh leading cause of death in America. Suicide was responsible for a total of 35,993 reported deaths. A CONSERVATIVE estimate counts about six survivors for every suicide death. If six people are affected by grief related to one suicide that is a total of 215,958 survivors in 2008. During the 17th and 18th centuries, suicide was considered a triple crime (murder, treason, and heresy). During this period, punishments for death by suicide included loss of property, violation of the deceased’s body, and harsh restrictions regarding burial. Not only were those who died by suicide punished, their families often were as well. If one unsuccessfully attempted to take their own life they were charged with attempted murder. This is where the phrase “committed suicide” originated. Suicide anti-stigma efforts include updating the suicide vocabulary to remove associations of sinfulness or wrongdoing. For example, suicide researchers and survivors generally use the term ‘‘died by suicide’’ or “died of suicide” as opposed to ‘‘committed suicide.’’ It is not a crime! One does not commit cancer, a heart attack, and so on. The media and the general public use the phrase "committed suicide" daily. Survivors feel that the public and media outlets need educated on this matter. The phrase "committed suicide" needs to be replaced with "died of suicide” or "died by suicide.” Please join the ones of us who have had our lives touched by suicide in educating others. By signing this petition you could help do away with one of the stigmas associated with suicide. It is a death related to real illness; a mental illness. It is not a crime one commits! The goal of this petition is to be heard by the general public, professionals, and the media. If we can be heard on the subject of suicide and the FACT that it is not a crime maybe the way suicide is referred to can be changed from “committed suicide” to “died of/by suicide.” Your signature could make the difference for the hundreds of thousands of people who have been affected by a suicide death or suicide attempt. They are all one in the same; a survivor! The word “committed” needs to be removed from any death or attempted death that relates to suicide. Please help us be heard. Thank you for your support!

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