"I wanted to leave this world and never come back,"

These are the words no 12-year-old should ever say, but for one young girl this was her brutal reality.

Months of relentless bullying had pushed Tayla to breaking point and she felt her only way of escape was to try and take her own life.

Her devastated mother had sought repeated help from her daughter's school, but the bullying continued with the family eventually forced to move away from their central Queensland home.

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Her story forms part of a special investigation into bullying tonight on The Feed which examines how widespread it really is and how authorities are often powerless to prevent it.

Patrick Abboud listens to Tayla's harrowing story. Photo / The FeedSource:SBS
Patrick Abboud listens to Tayla's harrowing story. Photo / The FeedSource:SBS

Reporter Patrick Abboud gained exclusive access to families affected by this tragedy spending months working with them to share their stories.

Abboud said he was drawn to Tayla's story but sadly found hers was far from unique with one in three suicides in Australia directly related to bullying.

Having experienced bullying himself first-hand as a teenager, Abboud said he found several other cases where kids had been severely bullied.

Tayla told Abboud how she was bullied from the day she started at her new school in central Queensland, with her single mother moving to the country to give her daughter a safe upbringing.

Instead, it was anything but.

She told Abboud kids called her a freak, told her to drown herself and called her lots of other abusive names.

Despite being put in isolation, her torture didn't end, resulting in a suicide attempt.

"I wanted to die," the now 13-year-old told The Feed.

While the family has since moved and made a fresh start in Cairns, Tayla is scarred by the bullying experience but is now receiving the help she needs.

"Tayla's in a good place now," he said.

"Her story is just heartbreaking, she's such a brave kid."

Her mother Kali told Abboud the reality was Tayla would have died if they stayed.

Showing him pictures of her tortured drawings, she said: "No mum wants to see their kids drawing these things."

Pep Tolhurst who lost her sister Jessica to bullying. Photo / The FeedSource:SBS
Pep Tolhurst who lost her sister Jessica to bullying. Photo / The FeedSource:SBS

Abboud also spoke to other families who had experienced the devastating effects of bullying including one who took her own life because of it.

"There's this assumption that kids will be kids,' Abboud said of the bullying issue.

"But Tayla's story made me dig deeper and I got talking to other families who had experienced the same thing."

Abboud said he also spoke to several anti-bullying groups and a school in Victoria which had a zero-tolerance policy around bullying.

He told news.com.au that Victoria was the only state in Australia which had legislation criminalising bullying.

While stopping short of saying the crime should be punished with jail time, he said the Victorian example showed that having legislation in place was a deterrent.

Abboud said while there were government programs in place regarding bullying, they were more reactive rather than preventive.

"It's a vicious cycle, the kid tells the parents, the parent tells the school, but not enough is being done to stop these kids dying," he said.

"There's a gaping hole in the system.

"My feeling is legislation will help send a signal that bullying is not okay and it is a crime that has consequences. I'm not saying let's lock kids up, but like any crime there is a scale of punishment"

Abboud talks to Heather Hawkins, Principal of Essendon Keilor College. Photo / The FeedSource:SBS
Abboud talks to Heather Hawkins, Principal of Essendon Keilor College. Photo / The FeedSource:SBS

Principal of Essendon Keilor College Heather Hawkins supported the tough legislation and told Abboud she believed it had made a difference.

"Kids (are) suiciding because of someone else's actions. Suicide as a consequence of bullying is it not akin to murder?"

Abboud also speaks with another woman, who confronts her own bully and who still suffers anxiety today, with surprising results.

While Tayla's story had a happy ending, other teens are not so lucky.

NSW mother Melinda Tolhurst revealed how her 14-year-old daughter Jessica was tormented to death and is petitioning Premier Mike Baird to make bullying a crime.

Kids at Essendon Keilor College who admit to having been bullied in the past. Photo / The FeedSource:SBS
Kids at Essendon Keilor College who admit to having been bullied in the past. Photo / The FeedSource:SBS

"Last Christmas my 14-year-old daughter committed suicide after relentless bullying by a group of thugs. She's now dead, and they walk free," her Change.org petition reads.

The devastated mother reveals how the abuse was vile, how her daughter was called an "ugly s***" and told to kill herself.

She also writes how it feels unreal to be writing the petition without her here but wanted to see people punished for such actions.

"Jessica will never go to her formal, finish school, learn to drive, get married or have children. Our lives have been destroyed, they'll never understand our pain," she said.

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.