A mother whose son managed to survive the deadly Blue Whale challenge has come forward to raise awareness about this dangerous trend.
The Blue Whale Challenge first appeared in Russia in 2015 and primarily targets teenagers.
This so-called 'challenge' involves completing 50 tasks over a span of 50 days and has reportedly spread to countries like Ukraine and the United States.
As per the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership, the Blue Whale Challenge involves persuading children and young individuals to undertake a sequence of 50 challenges, ultimately leading them towards self-harm or even taking their own lives.
"Refusal to comply with the tasks can be met with threats by the administrators to harm the individual and their family."
"The administer states he can hack IP addresses so knows where the family home is," the document continues.
Olga Tkachenko, a mother from Ukraine, experienced the heartbreaking consequences of the Blue Whale challenge when her 10-year-old son, Mykyta Kovalchuk, tragically jumped from a six-story balcony in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, last September while attempting the final task of the challenge.
On that fateful day, Mykyta had been sent home from school due to feeling unwell, so Olga briefly left him alone at their apartment to buy some medicine to help him feel better.
During her absence, reports suggest that the 10-year-old consumed a significant amount of alcohol. He then proceeded to the balcony, where he climbed onto the windowsill after drawing a heart on the glass.
When Olga returned home, she discovered police officers who informed her that Mykyta was in critical condition at the hospital. Miraculously, despite falling from a height of 66 feet, Mykyta avoided fatal injuries to his internal organs and bones. Furthermore, his spinal cord remained undamaged.
After the incident, Mykyta had to undergo a two-month hospital stay, with half of that time spent in the intensive care unit due to his critical condition.
Although nine months have passed since then, Mykyta has physically recovered. However, his mother, Olga, is concerned about the potential threats he may face in the future. She warns that those who harmed him before might target him again, putting his life at risk.
During a TV interview, she expressed her worries by stating: "He was a well-behaved child and good at studying. He had everything he needed. I could not understand how it could happen to him and to my family."
"[...] His abusers will hunt him again and that his life is still in danger. I live in constant anxiety and fear for my son's life. I fear they will find him again to get the job done this time."
"I want to warn parents about such situations that break the lives and destinies of many."