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Canadian Gang Rape Victim Takes Life



Rehtaeh Parsons, a teen from Nova Scotia, was a gorgeous, kind, straight-A student with her whole life ahead of her. On Thursday, she hung herself in her bathroom. On Sunday night, her family took her off life-support. Approximately a year and a half earlier, in November 2011, when Rehtaeh was 15 years old, she was reportedly gang-raped by four boys, classmates of hers. The trauma did not end there. One of the boys reportedly took a photo of the act and circulated it among Rehtaeh’s school and community where, as noted, by Rehtaeh’s mother, “it quickly went viral.” Authorities reportedly investigated the sexual assault but claimed there was insufficient evidence to make formal charges. Rehtaeh’s mother recalls the investigation: They didn’t even interview the boys until much, much later. To me, I’d think you’d get the boys right away, separate them…. Nothing was done about [the photos] because they couldn’t prove who had pressed the photo button on the phone. [She was told that the distribution of the photos is] not really a criminal issue, it’s more of a community issue. Even though she was 15 at the time, which is child pornography…. The whole case was full of things like that. We didn’t have a rape kit done because we didn’t even know (anything had happened) until several days later when she had a breakdown in my kitchen. She was trying to keep it to herself. Tormented and bullied, Rehtaeh was forced to leave her school and tried to start fresh in a new community. Despite efforts, she continued to struggle, at one point checking into a hospital to cope with suicidal thoughts, anger, and depression. In an extensive post on a Facebook memorial page, her mother Leah Parsons described how the straight-A high school student became depressed and suicidal after the incident. “The person Rehtaeh once was all changed one dreaded night in November 2011. She went with a friend to another’s home. In that home she was raped by four young boys . . . one of those boys took a photo of her being raped and decided it would be fun to distribute the photo to everyone in Rehtaeh’s school and community where it quickly went viral,” Leah Parsons wrote. “Because the boys already had a ‘slut’ story, the victim of the rape Rehtaeh was considered a slut. “This day changed the lives of our family forever.” Rehtaeh, who was a 15-year-old high school student in Cole Harbour at the time, was repeatedly bullied at school and “suddenly shunned by almost everyone she knew.” “She was never left alone. She had to leave the community. Her friends turned against her. People harassed her. Boys she didn’t know started texting her and Facebooking her asking her to have sex with them. It just never stopped,” her mother told CBC.

Patrice Ellerbe, Staff Writer Last Modified: 00:35 a.m. DST, 20 April 2013 NOVA SCOTIA, Canada – Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old girl from Canada, died in the hospital after her family took her off life-support. Prior to being disconnected, she languished in a comatose state for three days after trying to commit suicide by hanging herself […]

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Indomitable Spencer West Climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro



Spencer West, Photo by Pete Zivkov

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief Last Modified: 00:37 AM EDT, 21 September 2012 “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” ~ Napoleon Hill The incredible story of a thirty-one year old Canadian, Spencer West exemplifies the essence of this quote. In June 2012, West rose to international prominence […]

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