Teenager commits suicide after photograph of her ‘being gang-raped’ goes viral and she was brutally bullied
Here’s a tragic story of a young Canadian girl who committed suicide after images of her gang rape went viral. It’s being called the “Steubenville” rape case of Canada. So heartbreaking. Needless to say, just like the Stuebenville rape case, we feel that the toxic pornified culture that we live in, that constructs masculinity as it is usually portrayed in porn, as cruel and violent, likely contributed to the behavior of the perpetrators of the rape and the bullying by others. What do you think?
[Telegraph] — Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, was found by her mother in the bathroom of their family home in Nova Scotia shortly after she hanged herself.
Her family said her suicide was the result of almost two years of bullying and depression after a photo purporting to show her being raped by four boys went viral and spread through her school in Dartmouth.
The photo of the incident reportedly also included one of the boys present posing with a smile and a thumbs up.
Speaking to CTV News in Canada, Leah Parsons said the attack occurred in November 2011 when her daughter was just 15. After drinking vodka with others at a friend’s house, Rehtaeh soon became heavily intoxicated.
“The group began drinking vodka straight. Rehtaeh didn’t remember all of it [but] she remembers a guy leading her up the stairs [and] guys taking turns on top of her.”
It was then that the boys took pictures of the attack and of her vomiting out the window.
Her mother said severe bullying and trauma following the incident meant Rehtaeh never fully recovered. According to Ms Parsons, Rehtaeh was repeatedly called a “slut” by fellow pupils and regularly received text messages jokingly asking for sex.
Despite moving schools and to a different community entirely, she continued to suffer from depression and was forced to spend almost six weeks in hospital as she became increasingly suicidal.
She hanged herself on Thursday and was taken off life support by her family on Sunday evening.
In a Facebook page dedicated to the memory of Rehtaeh, which has received support from over 10,000 people, Ms Parsons recalled how the attack had scarred her daughter.
“This day changed the lives of our family forever,” she wrote.
“Rehtaeh was suddenly shunned by almost everyone she knew, the harassment was so bad she had to move out of her own community to try to start anew.
“She acted on an impulse but I truly in my heart of hearts do not feel she meant to kill herself.”
The police did not arrest or convict anyone in connection with the incident, citing a lack of evidence. Authorities have not yet responded to a request from The Telegraph for comment.
Justice Minister Ross Landry has reportedly said he hoped to meet with Ms Parsons soon to discuss the case.
The incident comes just months after another young Canadian teenager took her own life when a topless picture of her taken when she was just 12 spread over the internet.
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