Target: Nova Scotian Justice Minister Ross Landry
Goal: Demand justice for teenage gang-rape victim who committed suicide after constant harassment from fellow students
Seventeen months ago a Canadian teenager, Rehtaeh Parsons, was allegedly gang-raped by four of her fellow schoolmates. Photos of the rape spread like wildfire through Parsons’ school and community and she soon found herself the target of vicious victim-blaming bullying from students at her high school. Parsons’ high school administration was aware of the rape allegations but refused to believe them, and did not take action to prevent the circulation of the photograph of the assault.
Although Parsons reported the assault soon after it happened, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police dropped the case after a year without charges. Rehtaeh Parsons’ mother told the Halifax Chronicle Herald: “[t]hey didn’t even interview the boys until much, much later,” suggesting police had been negligent in their investigation.
Meanwhile, Rehtaeh Parsons’ struggled with depression and anger. Her schoolfellows sent messages to her asking for sex or calling her a slut on a frequent basis. After approximately two years of suffering, Parsons’ could endure no more. Rehtaeh Parsons was recently taken off life support by her family, three days after attempting to end her own life.
Another victim has been lost to rape culture. After experiencing excruciating trauma, Parsons’ should have been helped – instead, she was harassed and mistreated. Demand justice for Rehtaeh Parsons by signing the petition below and asking Justice Minister Ross Landry to immediately investigate the assault, and launch an independent inquiry into the original police investigation.
Dear Justice Minister Ross Landry,
Recently, Rehtaeh Parsons was taken off life support by her family, three days after attempting to end her own life. Parsons’ suicide attempt was a result of a seventeen-month-old, poorly investigated gang-rape, and the bullying and harassment that followed Parsons after the assault. Photos of Parsons’ rape circulated freely in her community, her high school refused to believe her allegations, and students frequently texted her asking for sex or calling her a slut.
Another life has been lost to our society’s disgusting rape culture. Our affinity for blaming the victim and siding with the rapist must end. How many more have to suffer, how many more have to die? I am writing today to demand that you re-open the investigation into Rehtaeh Parsons’ assault, and launch and independent inquiry into the original, negligent police investigation.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: Parsons family