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Rehtaeh Parsons: Canadian 17-Year-Old Kills Herself After Gang Rape, Online Bullying

Rehtaeh Parsons: Canadian 17-Year-Old Kills Herself After Gang Raped

Rehtaeh Parsons is being remembered as a light-hearted girl and dedicated student who was devastated by a brutal gang rape and subsequent online bullying.

Scarred from the incident in 2011, Rehtaeh hanged herself in a bathroom on Thursday. After three days in the hospital her parents took her off life support, and the 17-year-old Canadian girl died.

Rehtaeh Parsons changed dramatically from the incident 17 months ago, her mother wrote on a Facebook memorial page.

“She went with a friend to another’s home. In that home, she was raped by four young boys,” wrote Leah Parsons. “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.”

The gang rape left then 15-year-old Rehtaeh an outcast at Cole Harbour District High School. The alleged rapists also went to the school, and Rehtaeh could no longer face the students and their online bullying.

“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.

Her parents decided to move from Cole Harbour to Halifax to escape the bullying. Things seemed to turn around after that. Rehtaeh made new friends, and got support from some of her old friends on Cole Harbour.

Her suicide last week was likely the result of a mood swing, her mother said.

“She acted on an impulse, but I truly, in my heart of heart, do not feel she meant to kill herself,” her mother wrote on Facebook. “By the time I broke into the bathroom, it was too late.”

Parsons said she wants other people to learn a lesson from her daughter’s gang rape. Rehtaeh Parsons was scarred by the incident, but social media allowed her to be continually violated, her mother said.

“People texted her all the time, saying ‘Will you have sex with me?’ ” she remembered. “Girls texting, saying ‘You’re such a slut.’ ”

RCMP offiicals investigated the gang rape of Rehtaeh Parsons but said there was insufficient evidence to bring up charges.

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13 Responses to “Rehtaeh Parsons: Canadian 17-Year-Old Kills Herself After Gang Rape, Online Bullying”

  1. Blunt Force

    Tragic for this girl to have felt suicide was the only way to get away from stupid ppl and their small minds.

  2. Frank Wilson

    Why would any parent in their right mind, name their child Heather spelled backwards? REAHTHER? Just saying that name sounds stupid,,, that alone would draw plenty of unwanted attention,,,, a girl was killed in Michigan, named Heaven spelled backwards,,,,, very sad.

  3. Jane O'Neil

    So names can now get you gang-raped, bullied or killed?

  4. Megan Devillers

    omfg – what kind of person bullies someone and taunts someone for being raped? is our world really that cruel? my god I didn't think such people existed. I am so shocked.

  5. Terece Erickson

    Frank you seriously need help, if that's what you took away from this girls death!

  6. Stephanie Lynn Lease

    Yeah it was all because of the name. Oh crap I wonder how many people named Frank have been Murdered, or commited suicide, bullied? we might need to check into this and all consider a name change…. Really Dude? Anyways it is very sad and unfortuantly this isnt the only case. I feel for the family and god sake parents we need to monitor what our children are doing online and through thier phones.

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