Suicide shows danger of power abuse

A woman got indicted Monday on an involuntary manslaughter charge for encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself and the entire case illustrates just how dangerous manipulation and abuse of power can be.

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins told the Associated Press that Inyoung You, 21, was “physically, verbally and psychologically abusive” to Alexander Urtula, 22, during the course of their 18-month relationship.

Rollins also said You sent tens of thousands of text messages to Urtula, some of them saying things like “go kill yourself” and “go die,” the Associated Press reported. You sent more than 47,000 messages within the last two months of their relationship; that’s nearly 800 text messages a day. Urtula killed himself on May 20.

When The Daily Eastern News editorial board heard about You’s indictment on Monday, many of us immediately remembered the Feb. 6 involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michelle Carter, who was 22 at the time.

The Associated Press reported that Carter, who was 17 at the time of her boyfriend’s death, was in a relationship with Conrad Roy III, 18.

Like You, Carter also sent a number of texts urging her own boyfriend to kill himself, which he did in 2014. The Associated Press reported one of Carter’s texts to Roy was “I thought you wanted to do his. The time is right and you’re ready — just do it babe.” Carter was sentenced to 15 months in jail.

The two cases are so similar, and it’s so eerie that Carter was convicted in February — just a few months before Urtula killed himself.

Suicide isn’t easy to talk about, but something should go without saying: Urging people to kill themselves is disgusting. Significant others abusing their power to manipulate their partners into killing themselves is vile.

It’s easy to point our fingers at people who communicate these horrible things to the people they’re supposed to love. It is, after all, despicable.

But it illustrates another important point: Mental health is precious.

We at The Daily Eastern News can see how this fatal manipulation could be possible. It’s another reason to check on your own family members, friends, acquaintances and anyone else you interact with regularly.

Suicide catches people by surprise. Sometimes the disease of depression shows no symptoms or visible signs. Sometimes it really is invisible to the outside world.

The Associated Press reported that both Carter and Roy suffered from depression. It can affect people on both ends.

That’s why we encourage everyone to check on their loved ones from time to time, even if they suspect nothing is wrong.

We also need to use these two cases as examples of abuses of power and manipulation for the purpose of education. Abuse of power is dangerous on so many levels.