- Community backs Illawarra girl with Down syndrome bullied by neighbours
- 'It's a challenge to see if they can make me cry': bullies taunt lllawarra girl
A Farmborough Heights mum has made a fortress of her family's home - complete with motion-sensing cameras - to guard against neighbourhood vandals and bullies who taunt her daughter, who has Down syndrome.
Sophie Mason crowdsourced funds for a protective fence after her Warrah Place home was repeatedly pelted with dog faeces and eggs, and 15-year-old Faith Mason began avoiding the front yard for fear of being called a "retard" by passing tormenters.
After word of the family's troubles spread and donations surged past the $400 target - to more than $4000 - Ms Mason added two security cameras to the set-up.
"They have night vision, motion sensors and they automatically record," she said. "The house is no longer being damaged.
"The kids still get [bullied] a little bit when they go down the street but the fact that they feel safer at home is much better."
Despite the treatment meted out by neighbourhood tormenters, Mrs Mason said Faith and her siblings had emerged feeling triumphant. Their story had prompted many, including strangers in the street, to offer well-wishes and support.
"We've got them [vandals and bullies], but there were more people that were saying 'it's wrong and we're here if you need us'. We don't carry the burden ourselves, we know there are people willing to help," Ms Mason said.
"Faith has got a lot more confidence. If they're saying stuff, she just pokes her tongue out.
"She says: 'They can't come in any more - suckers!"'