Rape, bullying led to N.S. teen's death

79 posts / 0 new
Last post
RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Perhaps it's too much information, but why do we need to see the victim? I understand grief but I think it's usually contrived.

 

I find it voyeuristic and feel dirty reading about it.

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Especially about teenagers, getting worked up about the females in my family. Heads need to roll. We need to stand up. And I say that knowing there's a good chance I'll fail. No sunny days without a rainy one.

 

 

Goggles Pissano

Bacchus wrote:

I would like to see a string of no convictions before I want to see a prosecutor decide on a case that it cannot be won

I think we are all on the same page on this issue, but I do disagree with this statement.  I think the Crown Prosecutor did the right thing by deciding that the case cannot be won.

Too many times women and children go to courts hoping to see justice, and then they go through a horrific ordeal.  They have to relive the incident and explain what happened on the witness stand and endure the trauma all over again, but publicly.  In this case there would be four different defence attourneys, maybe even more, cross examining the witness and blaming her for the ordeal and accusing her of lying and painting the perpetrators as being the real vicitms.  This alone adds further trauma.  She meets public indifference and social humiliation all over again and this time, fully santified by the public court system and all in the name of justice.  Then, the accused get acquitted, or convicted of lesser offences and paroled, or face a slap on the wrist. None of this is justice at all.

The court systems in Canada are mysogynistic, and they retraumatize the rape survivors by having them testify in court and then traumatize them again when they find out how little value the courts place on violence against women.

The crown attourney in this case was not being dismissive in a hurtful way.  The crown attourney knew that the police were lazy and presented the crown with flimsy and sloppy evidence to even launch a case. Why would the crown put the girl through all that trauma when the police were too "FUCKING LAZY" to do their jobs properly?  That is the issue.

A Minister of Justice CAN get into serious legal trouble if he or she meddles with or tampers in a police investigation.  I do not know all the legal parameters of when they can get into trouble, but they can lose their jobs and be forced to resign for meddling where they are not allowed to. Having said that, I do not like how the NS Justice minister was initially dismissive of the issue, but then changed his tune when public outrage became international in scope.

I also watched the NS Minister for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women look like a stunned deer caught in a headlight at night when interviewed by CBC yesterday. I was wanting to see some anger and outrage, and some knowledge of the social dynamics which surrounds rape and violence against women, and she was totally clued out and inept.  She  did not do her research, and she just doesn`t get it.

I also support Anonymous and their tactics.  This group is the first to cause any degree of stress in the lives of the perpetrators, the threat of publishing their names if nothing is done to reopen the case and take the issue seriously.  They also made fools of both the NS police and the RCMP who did not bother to investigate the case properly. This hacking group serves a vital and key role in forcing the authorities to finally take this matter seriously.  It is a disgrace that things had to resort to this in Canada.

Goggles Pissano

To quote Billy Jack, a character in the movie, Billy Jack, "When policemen break the law, then there isn't any law -- just a fight for survival".

Michelle

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Why does the media post photo's of victims in death without their permission?

It's hard to get permission from someone when they're dead.

The reason is because it puts a face to the story, makes the victim seem real.  People don't shrug it off as easily as just another victim if they can see the person's face.  I don't have a problem with it, personally.  I'd rather that people see that, yes, there's a real person, a real young woman, behind this story.  A human being with her whole life ahead of her who was hounded to death.

Maysie Maysie's picture

When I first heard about this story I thought "This is what rape culture looks like".

RevolutionPlease wrote:
 Why does the media post photos of victims in death without their permission?

The media absolutely does NOT post photos to bring a human face to the story, sorry Michelle. The media wants to sell advertising. Rape culture sells.

If it bleeds, it leads.

Michelle

Well, that's true of any tragic story that makes the news - if it bleeds, it leads.  I don't think there's any pure motives on the part of the media when it comes to posting the pictures - I know they're doing it to sell the story.  But the way they try to sell the story is by humanizing the victim by posting photos of her, so that people have a visceral reaction - and the reaction they're having is the realization that this is a real individual person, plus probably a titillation factor.

Despite their motive for humanizing the victim with pictures (which isn't pure, I agree), I still prefer to see the face of victim than not, when reading stories about something like this, in order to humanize the story. 

One thing you've reminded me of, however (which I've been thinking about on and off throughout this story) is that there is a lot more "humanizing" of the victim that happens when the victim is young, pretty and white.  And a lot of the comments under the article (and some opinion columnists) focused on how it was such a waste because she was so young and pretty and did well in school, etc.  Which of course plays into the good victim bad victim thing.  She was a good victim.  Unfortunately, there are lots of bad victims out there who don't get as "humanized" as the good ones in these stories.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Yes.

Only specific victims get humanized.

And the ignored include not only "bad" victims, but victims who "don't matter" (ie victims who don't sell advertising aka brown, black, poor victims).

None of this diminishes the tragedy of what happened, and was allowed to happen, to Rehtaeh.

6079_Smith_W

While the coverage of that case down in the states was way over the top, I know everything that was revealed about the victim, including her name, was designed to humiliate and make the criminals look good. I wasn't following it closely enough to know if they released a photo.

All the humanity was saved for those poor boys and the tragic vacation from their sport careers.

I sort of agree, Michelle, and certainly some journalists see it that way, but I think the sad truth is that Maysie is absolutely right about the motivation of a lot of the media. Certainly those who don't do it are drowned out by those who do.

If people actually took a message from tragedies like this, rather than just getting a thrill out of them and forgetting them until the next death, there would be more people doing something about it.

NorthReport

'Anonymous' won't release names of Rehtaeh Parsons suspects

Group claiming to be hacktivist network plans protest in Halifax

Anonymous and its offshoot, Lulz Security, have been linked to a number of high-profile computer attacks and crimes, including many that were meant to embarrass governments, federal agencies and corporate giants.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/04/12/ns-rehtaeh-pa...

-----------------------------

650

NorthReport
Summer

Can't believe I'm saying this but Harper made a good statement on this tragic story:

Quote:
"I think we've got to stop using just the term bullying to describe some of these things. Bullying to me has a kind of connotation … of kids misbehaving. What we are dealing with in some of these circumstances is simply criminal activity. It is youth criminal activity, it is violent criminal activity, it is sexual criminal activity and it is often internet criminal activity," said Harper.

It's great that bullying has been getting so much attention recently because it is an awful thing to go through and can have long lasting and devastating effects on the victms.  But not all bullying is criminal activity.  Rape, sexual assault, non-consensual "sexting": these are all criminal acts.  The slut-shaming that went on post-assault is bullying and that is what may have ultimately led to suicide but the initial acts that started everything were criminal.  It is important that youth and adults understands that sexual assault is NOT simple bullying.  It is not teenage antics that the perpretators will grow out of.  

MegB

The Nova Scotia Public Prosecution and the RCMP are responsible for this girl's death. They're happy to convict on the scantiest of evidence if it scores political points in the Prosecutor's Office, but not when there is graphic evidence of sexual assault and subsequent criminal harassment against a young woman.

It disgusts me that this not only remains far too common, it's exacerbated by the ease with which online communications can intensify the harassment.

I know a woman who, at the age of 13, was raped by two of her classmates. The boys bragged about what they'd done so she had to endure the taunting of them and other boys at school and every time she saw them at school, walking to and from school, in the neighborhood, everywhere (no Internet then).

I wonder how many girls and women have endured this without any kind of closure or justice (whatever that means)?

Maysie Maysie's picture

The problem with Harper is that, like all Conservatives, he doesn't give a shit about Parsons or what happened to her, or young women, or women of any age, or ending rape culture. He's using this juicy current story to push his law-and-order agenda, not to work towards anything that would change sexist culture or rape culture in Canada. 

As for this not being about bullying, check out this article from Shameless Magazine. (Apologies if this has been linked to already):

On Calling Things By Name: Rape, Exploitation and Victim-Blaming aren't Bullying

Quote:

[B]ullying has become a catch-all term that means everything and nothing. Its ubiquity renders it benign as a concept, which is a disservice to those who are bullied as well as those who are dealing with other kinds of conflict and violence. Were there elements of bullying in what Parsons endured? Absolutely. Is focusing on “cyber-bullying” as the primary concern brought to light by her death accurate or even useful? No.

When a sexual assault, circulation of documentation of an assault, and vicious victim-blaming for an assault are subsumed into the bullying narrative, it obscures the truth of what happened. If such things are filed away under bullying, we fail to name them as instances of gender-based violence, exploitation, and harassment that are enabled by a culture that minimizes, dismisses, and normalizes violence against women.

.....

What we should be doing is teaching youth about and linking this story to is sexual consent, violence against women, and how to intervene in abuse when you can, NOT fueling ideas of how girls should act to avoid sexual assault or urging assailants to better cover their tracks. We should be discussing how tragedies like this are part of a broader context of oppression of women that extends beyond peer conflicts amongst youth—a context that young women aren’t going to simply age out of.

Summer

Maysie, can you check the shameless link?  I'm getting directed to a babble "page not found" screen.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture
Bacchus

Maysie wrote:

Yes.

Only specific victims get humanized.

And the ignored include not only "bad" victims, but victims who "don't matter" (ie victims who don't sell advertising aka brown, black, poor victims).

None of this diminishes the tragedy of what happened, and was allowed to happen, to Rehtaeh.

 

When I see POC victim pictures in Toronto they tend to all look like mugshots

Summer

 

Thanks!  

Great article.  

 

Kara

"A Needed Response" by Samantha Stendal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZxv5WCWivM

A friend sent me this link via e-mail and I thought it fit well here.

Paladin1

Maysie wrote:

The problem with Harper is that, like all Conservatives, he doesn't give a shit about Parsons or what happened to her, or young women, or women of any age, or ending rape culture.

 

Female Conservatives don't give a shit what happens to all other woman? That is a pretty broad brush to paint with.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

OathofStone wrote:

 

 

 

 

Female Conservatives don't give a shit what happens to all other woman? That is a pretty broad brush to paint with.

 

 

It's "Women".

 

Pretty fine strokes, I'd say. Perhaps you could explain why that's not so? If you so care to defend female Conservatives.

 

They don't seem to get it? Is that so rude to point out?

Kara

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/04/17/ns-bullying-rehtaeh-boys-support-posters.html

Seemingly people do not think Rehtaeh's family has been through enough already so they have to twist the knife a bit more.  Disgraceful!

Niall Keane Niall Keane's picture

On a related note, I've just read Maya Shlayen's piece on Rehtaeh Parsons and I've got some mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I'm glad she took the time to write about something that far too often gets glossed over (if not outright ignored) in her case and countless others like it; that patriarchy and cultural misogyny played a major role in why she was raped, as well as the vicious onslaught of bullying, slut-shaming and victim blaming she endured - and which drover her to end her life. This factor is not stressed often enough, IMO

On the other hand, I find the ways in which she minimizes the experiences victims of bullying by equating it with bickering among children on a playground, which undermines just how traumatic bullying can be. I also don't like her seemingly cavalier attitude towards male victims of rape and sexual abuse, and she makes some questionable statements regarding why, in her opinion, male victims are more readily believed than females.

It's a shame really, because her article is otherwise excellent.

Unionist

Not sure if this is the right thread, but:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/rehtaeh-parsons-s-father-credi... Parsons's father credits Anonymous for reopening investigation[/url]

Quote:

While experts and officials decry recent instances of vigilantism by the hacktivist group Anonymous, one beneficiary of the group's activism is adamant that justice would never have been served without involvement by the clandestine organization.

Glen Canning said he believes Anonymous's threats to publicly identify boys allegedly involved in the cyberbullying that predated his daughter Rehtaeh Parsons's death prompted Halifax police to reopen their investigation and eventually lay charges.

None of this would have happened if Anonymous hadn't stepped in, said Canning. "I believe that absolutely. I have no question about that at all."

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I think discussion of the ethics of this could be worth their own thread.

On the one hand, it's hard to give full approval to anonymous entities basically blackmailing the state into doing their bidding.

On the other hand, when the government "can't" do anything, then they suddenly "can" after a threat, it does invite the question of why the government "couldn't".  Evidently they could.  So why did it require the intervention of Anonymous?

quizzical

patriarchy...she's dead so why spend the money... a combination

Unionist

Maysie wrote:

The problem with Harper is that, like all Conservatives, he doesn't give a shit about Parsons or what happened to her, or young women, or women of any age, or ending rape culture. He's using this juicy current story to push his law-and-order agenda, not to work towards anything that would change sexist culture or rape culture in Canada. 

As for this not being about bullying, check out this article from Shameless Magazine. (Apologies if this has been linked to already):

On Calling Things By Name: Rape, Exploitation and Victim-Blaming aren't Bullying

Quote:

[B]ullying has become a catch-all term that means everything and nothing. Its ubiquity renders it benign as a concept, which is a disservice to those who are bullied as well as those who are dealing with other kinds of conflict and violence. Were there elements of bullying in what Parsons endured? Absolutely. Is focusing on “cyber-bullying” as the primary concern brought to light by her death accurate or even useful? No.

Yet, the cowardly Nova Scotia government of the day (2013) "wasn't willing to throw the police and the Public Prosecution Service under the bus.... They can say we didn't have a law, therefore we have to come up with a law." [David Fraser, privacy lawyer.] So they came up with a draconian law which suppressed free speech but didn't address rape or exploitation or victim-blaming.

The good news is:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/cyberbullying-law-struck-down-... strikes down anti-cyberbullying law created after Rehtaeh Parsons's death[/url]

Quote:

Supreme Court Justice Glen McDougall released his decision on Friday, ruling the anti-cyberbullying law must be eliminated right away — unlike other court decisions that have struck down legislation but offered politicians a one-year grace period to rewrite the laws.

"The act must be struck down in its entirety. The attorney general has not persuaded me that a temporary suspension is warranted," McDougall wrote.

"To temporarily suspend the declaration of validity would be to condone further infringements of charter-protected rights and freedoms."

 

McDougall said his job was to figure out whether the Cyber-Safety Act unnecessarily includes material that has little or nothing to do with preventing cyberbullying.

"In this regard, the Cyber-Safety Act, and the definition of cyberbullying in particular, is a colossal failure," he wrote.

NorthReport

Teen suicide on the rise amongst Canadian girls

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39210463

Pages