Gang rape and repeated bullying leads teen to suicide

At age 15 Rehtaeh Parsons was gang raped by four of her peers and if that wasn’t enough the rapists documented it and circulated a photo to the rest of their peers after they were finished with her.  Rehtaeh was young and had the world in front of her but her life to some ended at age 17 when she committed suicide by hanging.  You see while this story of a teen girl is circulating the web the story is focusing much more intently on the fact that Rehtaeh killed  herself.  The story focuses on the act of gang rap and the harassment she had to endure up until she killed herself.

Of all the stunning elements of this case I find it most stunning of all that the Canadian Police did not pursue charges against the four boys responsible for driving 17 year old Rehtaeh to her death, when the rape occured.  Rehtaeh’s mother tells CNN  “Rehtaeh is gone today because of the four boys that thought that raping a 15-year-old girl was OK and to distribute a photo to ruin her spirit and reputation would be fun,” her mother wrote. “All the bullying and messaging and harassment that never let up are also to blame. Lastly, the justice system failed her. Those are the people that took the life of my beautiful girl.” 

According to Canadian law it is considered to be child pornogrphy to tape a 15 year old girl and not once in the CNN article was the real crime of rape and harassment taken into consideration by officials.  HELLO IT’S RAPE!!   Rehtaeh’s case is being compared to that of the Steubenville, Ohio gang rape of a West Virginia girl.  Slut slamming needs to become illegal because it is that one element that drove Rehtaeh to her death.  When something awful such as rape occurs the victim needs to grieve.  She should not worry about being harassed, and ridiculed repeatedly, ultimately driving her  to suicide.

Yeah Canada I think it is about time for you to “reconsider” this case and “reevaluate” the lack of charges filed against the boys responsible.  This horrid and unjust criminal action placed onto Rehtaeh at the hands of four horny hotshot teenage boys was something she did not want nor ask for!  Give justice to Rehtaeh Parsons by holding those responsible for her death accountable to the law!

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

I am a student at Miami University and I am majoring in social work while taking on a women, gender, and sexuality studies minor. I have a deep passion for advocacy and part of being an effective advocate is bringing awareness to the anit-feminist agenda and social injustice that blankets today's American culture. I love my life and am a proud 'other mom' to my partners 5 year old daughter. If I do anything it will be to make sure she grows up respecting herself and those around her!

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