Girl’s parents win bravery award for work against online bullying

“Just two clicks and your child’s life is ruined,” said Nadya Pfister, whose 13-year-old daughter took her own life Keystone

Nadya and Candid Pfister have been awarded this year’s Prix Courage for their work against cyberbullying since the suicide of their 13-year-old daughter.

This content was published on October 31, 2020 - 13:08

The CHF15,000 ($16,350) prize for courage and bravery was presented by Swiss news magazine Beobachter on Friday.

The couple’s only daughter, Céline, took her life in August 2017 after being bullied on the Snapchat app. Two teenagers had bullied her with an intimate picture she had taken of herself. They were sentenced to a few days of community service.

Since then the Pfisters have campaigned for bullying to be liable to prosecution. A parliamentary initiative is now pending. The couple, from canton Aargau in northern Switzerland, were selected by the public through an online vote and by a six-member jury. The jury awards its points without knowing the public’s decision.

“Just two clicks and your child’s life is ruined. That’s cyberbullying,” said Nadya Pfister.

Jury president Susanne Hochuli said via video that the jury had been unanimous. She said the couple had experienced the worst that could happen to parents but had still found the energy and moral courage for their work.

Beobachter had announced earlier in the week that the Dargebotene Hand/La Main Tendue helpline (the offered hand) would receive this year’s Prix Courage Lifetime Award. For more than 60 years the non-profit group has provided advice, or just an ear, to depressed or desperate people 24 hours a day (telephone number 143).

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