Stevenage teenager with cerebral palsy and her carer to fight back against Facebook abuse

PUBLISHED: 16:23 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:25 19 November 2018

Ellie Matraves (left) with her carer Terri Holland. Picture: Terri Holland

Ellie Matraves (left) with her carer Terri Holland. Picture: Terri Holland

Archant

The carer of a 16-year-old girl from Stevenage who has cerebral palsy is fighting back after a torrent of online abuse.

Terri Holland, also from Stevenage, has been caring for Ellie Matraves for the past six years.

She posted a video on the social media site TikTok last week of them lip syncing together, but they were met with hundreds of abusive comments.

“A few years ago we joined an app called TikTok, making funny lip syncing videos,” said Terri.

“Recently some of our videos have got over 60,000 views.

“Obviously I didn’t go into this being naive, I knew if our videos started getting noticed we would have some horrible comments about Ellie, that’s just the world we live in.

“I was prepared for that and so was Ellie.

“But this week one of our videos reached nearly 200,000 views.

“The amount of nasty, hurtful and disgusting things that people posted on the video has absolutely left me speechless and raging with anger.

“I’m not talking a few nasty comments, I’m talking more than 500.”

Ellie has had four major brain surgeries in her fight against cerebral palsy which effects her movement, muscle tone and speech.

Despite the abuse, she and Terri will continue to post videos.

Terri continued: “Ellie has said she is not going to let them ruin this for her, and to me that shows so much strength.

“I’m not sure I would be able to do it knowing all the things people were saying, so I’m going to carry on helping her live her life to the full.”

According to Home Office figures, 7,226 hate crimes against people with disabilities were reported to police in 2017/18.

That figure has risen more than 275 per cent from 1,911 in 2011/12.

Terri believes that people need to be educated about disabilities in order to stop this alarming trend.

She said: “You hear about hate crimes that involve racism, homophobia, religion, sexism and so on, but how often do you hear about disability hate crimes on the news?

“I think it’s all about educating young people.

“Those who haven’t come across people with disabilities do not know how to react.”

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