Rehtaeh Parsons father 'shocked' to hear of Dartmouth teen being bullied over sex tape

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By Ruth Davenport - Metro Halifax

HALIFAX - Rehtaeh Parson’s father said he was shocked by the story of another teenaged girl being victimized by classmates over the online video of a sex act.

“I can’t believe I’m reading this today in the paper. I can’t believe it,” said Glen Canning Tuesday. “What the hell is going on in Nova Scotia?”

Canning’s daughter Rehtaeh took her own life in April, two years after she was allegedly gang-raped at a party and then harassed relentlessly by other kids when a video of the incident was distributed via social media.

Canning said he and Rehtaeh’s mother went public with her story in hopes of preventing it happening to another girl – and reading the Metro story of a 15-year-old Dartmouth girl who has dropped out of school under similar circumstances “struck a huge nerve.”

“(Rehtaeh) just got so depressed, she ended her life,” he said. “I can imagine this girl is going through the same thing, and what are we going to do, sit here and watch this again?”

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with making and distributing child pornography. Police say the charges relate to a consensual act filmed without the girl’s permission at a party where alcohol was present.

The girl’s mother said her daughter was too drunk to stand without help, let alone consent.

As in Rehtaeh’s case, a video of the incident was posted on Facebook and has spread throughout HRM, resulting in torrents of abuse heaped on the teenaged girl, both online and at school.

Canning said the sluggish response of the justice system is frustrating, but he’s also mystified by the kids’ behaviour.

“I’d love to read tomorrow that police went to a bunch of schools and made a bunch of arrests and they’re charging kids with criminal harassment,” he said. “They gotta know that doing that to someone is just going to devastate them, and what are they doing it for? A thrill, a kick?”

He applauded the Dartmouth woman for standing by her daughter, but said she can’t stand by and wait for the system to work.

“Scream at the top of your goddamned lungs, and don’t stop screaming until someone is listening and someone is doing something about it,” he said. “We let the system work with Rae and we didn’t scream loud enough, and I regret that deeply.”

Geographic location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

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  • Sigh
    June 05, 2013 - 22:19

    Sooo, if a girl gets raped let's first look and see if she respects herself? Still sounds blame-y. Here's the flip side of your argument: Within each boy/man lies a rapist waiting for a drunk girl to happen. Pretty lame.

    • Lee
      June 06, 2013 - 09:04

      Keep sighing, you sure make me do the same with your assinine comments.

  • James A. Black
    June 05, 2013 - 18:01

    There are only three things that will stop a crime from occurring. 1. Knowing what you are going to do is a crime.... and as in all laws, ignorance of the law is no excuse. The Prim Minister has not figured that one out since he is spending a fortune of public relations. 2. The chance of getting caught deters a crime, but in our society it is getting less and likely they will get caught. 3. Enforcing the law...but that seems less and less as the number of young woman exposed to the personal hell of rape.

  • Sigh
    June 05, 2013 - 15:17

    "A better question would be why are all these teenaged girls getting so hammered that they don't even know what's happening to them?! "..your very first line. You're blaming the victim.

    • Lee
      June 06, 2013 - 06:57

      Interpret that as you wish, I am not blaming the victim. It's a valid question. The world is not sunshine and bubbles, your actions result in consequences and if you don't watch your own back, clearly nobody else will do it for you in this day & age. Girls need to protect themselves.

  • Sigh
    June 05, 2013 - 14:19

    Blaming the victim Lee? How about we teach boys not to rape.

    • Lee
      June 05, 2013 - 15:00

      I'm not blaming the victim, of course we should be teaching boys about respecting women and that rape is wrong. At what point will we teach girls to RESPECT THEMSELVES?!

  • spolied rich kid bullies
    June 05, 2013 - 13:46

    ...just like in India ..here in Nova Scotia......was not one of the issues in the Parson that the "boys were fairly well off spoiled little kids" and the cops did nothing to them even after investigating...just like in India where the "elite class" has no respect for the lower class the little idiots rape and bully....people are being screwed up from watching reality TV ....and watching our politicians acting like "bullies", and the cops letting these spoiled little idiots go free ...or the media saying "oh those poor young football players just ruined their life" after another young girl was abused and bullied sexually..and likely after being fed some rich parents "pills" from their doctor supplied stash, along with booze... - face it - while many people are good with morals, we are witnessing a spiral in morals....guess it's becoming every one for themselves...if the cops do nothing, then the parents have the right to correct the little idiots themselves....perhaps our schools and cops should think of the ramifications ...and perhaps some of these little idiots should consider one never knows whose parents will take corrective actions since the cops don't want to rock the world of fine up standing parents whose little idiot kids obviously need an attitude adjustment!

  • Lindsay
    June 05, 2013 - 12:32

    "...a consensual act filmed without the girl’s permission..." yeah okay

  • Lee
    June 05, 2013 - 10:54

    A better question would be why are all these teenaged girls getting so hammered that they don't even know what's happening to them?! I was 14 once and yes I did drink alcohol at parties but I never got so loaded that I was taken advantage of. And why doesn't anyone stick up for their friends anymore? Protect each other from this kind of crap before it even happens!