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North Andover Teen Cancer Survivor Bullied By Best Friend

NORTH ANDOVER (CBS) — A North Andover girl who beat cancer by the time she turned 11 is now facing a new battle. Cyber bullies.

Justine Williams, who lost a leg in her battle against cancer, hopes coming forward will give other kids the courage to stand-up for themselves.  Starting in February she started receiving dozens of threatening texts and phone calls.

Williams says the messages three or four times a day that would say things like, “I’m going to kill your animals,” and “Set a bomb off outside your house,” and “I’m going to rape you.”

WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias reports.

She became scared and didn’t want to go school, then her grades started to suffer.

“She would say, ‘I just don’t feel right.’ And I thought of is she sick again? I didn’t know what was going on,” said Jane Williams, Justine’s mother. She went on to say that she was angry and frustrated and couldn’t believe someone would bully her daughter.

They contacted police and found out the bully was someone they knew. In fact, Justine considered this girl her best friend.

Police told the Williams her friend was using a website to mask her number and sometimes sent those texts while Skyping with Williams to watch her reaction.

The cyberbully was ordered to get counseling and perform community service. Williams’ father says it’s not nearly enough.

“If this is middle school what’s this person going to be like in high school?” asked Michael Williams.

The Williams family isn’t identifying the bully in this case. The District Attorney’s office worked with Jane Williams to come up with the punishment in this case.

The school pulled the bully out of Williams’ classes and made sure the two have little to no contact.


One Comment

  1. Lisen says:

    Poor Kid. I can’t understand why someone would do that. And Justine’s clearly been through enough already. I hope she can find a way to get through this quickly.

    1. Winona says:

      Hang in there Justine and hold your head up high. You’re better than this bully. I respect free speech but this ain’t right. Sites like the Dirtyphonebook.com and others that encourage cyber-bullying need to be shut down.

    2. junior says:

      Since the school and the police left the bully in school for this poor young lady to have to deal with everyday, I don’t see how anyone can get through this quickly. Should have expelled the bully.

      1. Marcella Maynard Thomason says:

        Amen to that! She also should be in some type of bootcamp with extensive therapy. There is something ill about someone thinking this is fun or funny. Community service? What would she have gotton if the victim had been pushed to suicide?

    3. Bradley Bozant says:

      I am sending this story to gopurplestoptheh8.org



  2. Tricia says:

    Justine good for you for sharing you story. You are a beautiful young lady and I am sure you are just as beautiful on the inside. Hold your head high as you have already shown just how strong you are.

  3. Sophia says:

    Justine, that is so horrible! I am really sorry that something like this happened to you, things will go just fine, I promise.

  4. Rennie Grant says:

    girl, you are soooo much stronger than they will ever be. They know that thats why they are afraid of you. Thats all bullying is,… fear. Stay strong, let them go, dont react and stay safe. Find friends who actually have YOUR best interest at heart. You ARE better than that.

  5. Cynthia says:

    I am a passionate supporter and defender of the Constitution, but I have to believe there is some Constitutional method of enforcing a law that makes all cyber bullying and threats the same violation as physical stalking. Anytime a victim stands up, not allowing the bully/violator to ‘win”, it starts the healing. Coming forward and helping others will go a long way in helping Justine..

  6. lYNDA says:

    Ya just never know what people are going to do. Your “Best Friend” was really one of those people you couldn’t read. Shame on her! I hope she learns from this that this sort of behavior is uncalled for and won’t be taken lightly. And as her family says – 20 hours of community service is NOT enough to teach her a lesson she will never forget. I say more like 100 hours and then go talk to kids in other schools in her town to explain why Bullying – live or cyber is just plain wrong!

  7. Simms says:

    Disgusting. That is cyber terrorism. The ‘best friend’ should be expatriated, sent to Guantanamo and then tried for threatening the life of an American citizen.

  8. Kerry says:

    Justine you are one brave young woman. Hurray for you in coming forward. Hopefully the young woman doing the bullying will learn something through this.

  9. joey says:

    those kids that are doing the bullying need to get a good ass beating

  10. Joey says:

    check the bullys home… probably getting abused and taking it out on others.. regardless they need to bealt with swiftly and efficiently. Justine , Hang tough you will prevail…

  11. Gareth says:

    Please post the bullys information.

  12. yea thats me says:

    what a shame

  13. Katrise35 says:

    If I live to be 150 years old, I will NEVER understand what drives children/adults to bully someone. I don’t understand how someone who would treat people with such horrendous cruelty can call themselves human. This girl has been thru an unimaginable ordeal, and for her to be harassed and treated this way by someone she considered a best friend, is beyond me! And for this girl to not only do this, but talk with her on Skype and send a message just to see her reaction?? Who does that?!

    Justine, you truly are a hero, because you haven’t backed down. You have spoken up so that others may not have to go thru this type of thing. You were born for such a time as this, baby girl! God has a purpose and a plan for you. Hold fast, and stay strong!

    1. Deb says:

      It really has nothing to do personally with Justine…she is just a convenient target. This so-called best friend has some serious mental issues. Probably a sociopath in the making. Gets her jollies inflicting pain of others she perceives as weak. HA! Justine showed her cancer AND this coward just how “weak” she is! WAY TO GO, GIRL!!!

  14. missgal34 says:

    This is so sad. This girl has fought and beat the biggest bully of all, CANCER. Stay strong young lady, you can rise above this as well. My prayers are with her and her family. I am a cancer survivor myself, so I know how strong we both are. ;)

  15. momtothree says:

    this sickens me for many reasons. i would be overcome with anger as her parent. miss justine will probably struggle with trust issues which will affect her relationships for some time. i hope she can find a way to heal her heart after this. much love justine.

  16. Andy says:

    jus leave her alone. she knows wht he did was wrong we surely dont need to keep reminded her of it. let go and live. please we have better things to talk about. pple are dyin and going to hell everyday. go to church pple and leave everyone else’s bussiness alone, worry about yoursleves

    1. Nic says:

      Andy you must be the bully! LOL. Bullies DO need to be reminded! Better things to talk about? Nah, this is a good one right now. Of course the wrongdoer wants to forget and move on, but the victim hurts everyday and sometimes for years after. If they cant forget so easily why should the bully? You mentioned people are dying everyday, yes, and somethimes it was caused by bullying that went out of control. Hear about the Florida teen that was recently shot and burned by his bullies? Talking about this may help one person today. And that’s worth it. And you say go to church? Some of the biggest bullies are front and center! There are consequences to EVERY action and getting scolded publicly on post is one of the least. Find the best advice on here and stop bullying today. If someone in your home is bullying you, find help before you do something you’ll regret.

  17. Denise says:

    Why? Jealousy… That is why most kids pick on another. The cowards usually group together because Peer Pressure makes some of them brave then they get stupid and do things that they wouldn’t do alone.

    Justine you have a great foundation for a very productive life! You are brave, strong and willing to fight for what you believe. You beat cancer and a stalker of sorts all before you were 12 – and you’ve shown you’re a stronger and more confident young lady than the little kid that was trying to make you scared.
    I commend your parents too for believing you – that is 1/2 the battle for young adults – the parents don’t pay enough attention. Happy Easter to you all!

    1. Katrise35 says:

      Denise, I was thinking the same exact thing! Her “friend” was probably jealous of all the attention Justine was getting from friends, family, and teachers. Unfortunately, sometimes people with extremely low self esteem don’t see things for what they truly are. She only saw the attention. She didn’t see the pain, sickness, and whatever else Justine went thru with her battle with this horrible disease.

  18. tom says:

    they need to print the bullies name and picture, they need to print the name and picture of every juvenile that gets arrested. maybe with shame brought down on them and their families things may get better.

    1. Nic says:

      Tom I disagree, that will lead to them being stalked and victimized themselves. And if you think thats what they diserve, how about two wrongs don’t make a right.

  19. Me! says:

    How awful when the one person in the world you completely trust (your best friend!) bullies you. What kind of person does that? Hasn’t this girl been through enough? Unless community service is picking up trash on the side of the road with a sign on her back for a lot more than 20 hours, the punishment is not severe enough. What are they thinking?

  20. Tanya says:

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. I have 2 kids in middle school as well as two younger. I just recently overheard my 8th grader say to my 6th grader “middle school is meant to be endured. No one likes it or wants to do it again. Most people only care about themselves in middle school. The goal is to endure it, survive it, and to try to be a good person to others so you aren’t the one making others feel bad.” I thought that his statements were truly profound. Keep your head up and realize that she is the person with the serious problems. We wish you the best.

  21. Chris says:

    Way to go Justine for your courage in your short life and for speaking up!! My son was bullied throughout school for his ears sticking out. I applaud you Jane for taking this to the authorities. The bully’s parents I hope are embarrassed and are able to discipline their brat further than the law. Hang in there kiddo Justine!!

  22. HERE4U says:

    Hello Justine. I’m a US Marine and have spent 9 months in IRAQ and am currently reading the news from my base in Afghanistan. I just want you and the other incredible individuals in our beautiful country to know that I couldn’t be prouder to serve for you! As for those bullying you and the rest of the people that fell it necessary to take down other people with their negativity and threats, they don’t deserve the freedom I fight for. Keep your chin up and know that we’re hear, FOR YOU!

    1. tiffany says:


  23. Diane says:

    That “best friend” sounds like a psycho. I hope she is prosecuted if possible and punished to the fiullest extent of the law. Justine, you are so brave and I hope you don’t give that so-called “friend” another thought!

  24. Niveus_Vulpes says:

    I’ve never experienced the nuisance that is cyber bullying, but I remember when I was in highschool back on Cape I used to be bullied. But the best you can do is ignore them, cause remember, you’re better than them. That’s why they tend to bully people, cause they’re so low on the chain they want to bring someone else down to their level. Until it gets physical, then bring it up immediately (having a metal washer thrown at you from the top of the stairs stings). But like all others say, keep your head up high, and just remember, you are and allway be better than those who try to bring you down.

  25. Melisa says:

    Am I the only person who thinks its tacky to talk about how she lost her leg to cancer, and in the next sentence they say they hope it will help teens stand up for themselves? I think perhaps that could have been worded differently.

  26. G. Wilson says:

    Justine my mother raised me to never make fun of other people because one day this could be your child. I don’t wish that on anyone, however, if this does happen to your bullies maybe then they will think about what they did to you. I hope their child doesn’t suffer for their parents ignorance and stupidity. Keep your chin up and remember who is the better person.

  27. emom says:

    I am amazed that a close friend could be so hatefull , I agree this person truely needs counciling and maybe the family needs some as well. No one should have to go thru such harrassements,, Something is seriously wrong with folks when they resort to this bullying…

  28. vintage_chica82 says:

    Sounds like this bully is a budding psychopath. She needs a LOT of therapy.

  29. j says:

    You are a strong person. You will be fine and you can be proud of yourself for standing up and doing the right thing. Not everyone has the inner guts to do it and clearly you do. :-) I hope your “friend” gets the help she needs, learns from this and becomes a better person.

  30. William Louria says:

    An unfortunate experience, but a true and an important life lesson. You will meet many people and very few will ever come close to being a good, or best friend. Best friends would die protecting you – emotionally and physically. Perhaps they lack the true value of life that you already learned, and know about – without choice. Everything good from your lips to G_d’s ear.

  31. Julie says:

    Sounds like someone is jealous of maybe the attention she’s received? Some best friend, hope she finds a better one soon and leaves this one in her dust….

  32. tiffany says:

    that is no nearly enough. that bully should be made to be home schooled, that poor girl what did she ever do to deserve that… kids theses days are curl and need to be taght a lession. this should not be handled the way they are something needs to be done. my daughter is 6 years old and i had a incident at her school where another child threatned to stab her in the neck with a knife. children or not these things need to be taken seriously. kids these days are learning this stuff from somewhere and it has to STOP before somebody gets hurt or ends up dead. then whos fault is it ganna be?

  33. Sage says:

    If a child is bullying, in most cases, that child is being bullied as well. The bully’s parents and home life should be investigated. Usually a bully needs just as much psychological help as someone that has been bullied.

  34. sherri Faulkner says:

    OMG!!! My son IS a CANCER SURVIVOR since the age of 6ys. I remember how I HAD to EDUCATE the school….his teachers and classmates on his type of cancer.his treatement..etc..,but NEVER BULLYING?? Where are the PARENTS of this girl? Community service? Really? How about she and HER PARENTS go to a childrens/teens CANCER ward and they ALL VOLUNTEER. Let them MEET kids&their parents that have to LIVE with CANCER everyday.Oh my son is NOW a 20 year old college graduate and in remission.The Williams are in my prayers.

  35. Nat Reader says:

    Sorry, this has nothing to do with bullying. It is just a nutcase of a disturbed teenager that needs counseling. Why is everything classified as bullying now? There is stalking, harassment, psychotic behavior, etc.

    And nothing in it had to do with her cancer. Is that supposed to make us feel more angry towards the nut job? This is a teen being stalked/harassed by a psycho, plain and simple.

    1. jessica says:

      Sorry, this has nothing to do with bullying. It is just a nutcase of a disturbed teenager that needs counseling. Why is everything classified as bullying now? There is stalking, harassment, psychotic behavior, etc.

      And nothing in it had to do with her cancer. Is that supposed to make us feel more angry towards the nut job? This is a teen being stalked/harassed by a psycho, plain and simple.

      disturbed teenager? hmm so that teenager who killed herself over being told she needs to kill herself becuase shes not even worth it isnt classified as bullying, uh ok, if thats not bullying what isnt, u call this a disturbed teenager, renember amber, a teenager who killed herself over someone telling her her life wasnt worth it and that noone loves her and that shes better off dead, oh and that theyd go after her family and pets and what not if she didnt commit suicide, oh yea thats not bullying? id say it is bullying nat reader, sorry but u are one person that id consider a bully if u think thats not bullying

  36. Nat Reader says:

    Again…what in the world does cancer have to do with this? This is a crime of threats by a crazy person.

  37. MJ says:

    Cyberbiullies are cowards at heart… bullying is horrible, but secret bullies are despicable.

  38. Shelby says:

    Where in the HELL is this bully’s parents???
    Justine – she is a tumbleweed in your wind. Your are such a strong, beautiful, courageous young lady. Thank you for standing up to her. This will allow others to find the courage & stand up as well….This should be a serious felony & can’t for the life of me understand why a FEDERAL law isn’t passed….s/b be no discussion, debates, etc….
    & Thank you to the Marine who commented & is serving our country!

  39. Joni says:

    Justine, I am proud of you for standing up and shame on this girl that she would do something like. They should give her a felony maybe she would think twice about doing this again. Thank you to your parents for standing up to her and calling her out.. Thinking about you and wishing you much success in your life you are a beautiful girl…

  40. sara says:

    Psycho Friend. That’s the person that ends up destroying people at work too.

  41. daniel says:

    This does’nt surprise me , the kids doing the bullying probably have parents who do the same thing and then will be in church on sunday .

  42. Emilio says:

    What is this implacable/unmerciful world coming to?
    These bullies are cowardly misfits .
    Bullies love to disguise their feelings of inadequacy/inferiority
    by preying on sick and disabled individuals
    I cant believe this Bully was victimizing a brave cancer survivor
    What an evil and grotesque thing to do .
    This generation of teens are defiant to an extreme
    This bully needs a lesson in humbleness
    They dont raise kids as some of us were raised
    With discipline and a good old fashion ass beating.
    No I dont condone child abuse but I thank my parents for
    constraining me and keeping me on the straight and narrow
    A few belt whips is certainly better than prison,death or breeding future psychopaths
    That belt taught me a valuable lesson in consequences & respecting boundaries
    Forget the time outs and pathetic (so called)
    disciplinary methods employed at the present time .
    Either parents correct these out of control bullies
    unless prison & death is what they have in mind for them

  43. Geishla Stroud Odom says:

    my son (6 at the time) lost his leg also,,, not to cancer but from a freak lawn mover accident…. if anyone every bullies him like this there will be hell to pay!!!! hang in there justine!!! you are one of the special ones and God has a plan for you to do great things!! you are an angel on earth just as i tell my son!!!! never ever give up!!!!

  44. Fair and Just says:

    Immature kids will be kids. The punishment was exactly right – why should the “bully” live for the rest of her life with a record because she did something meaningless and stupid as a kid.

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