This is Rehtaeh.
They're buring Rehtaeh today.
Rehtaeh took her own life last weekend.
Rehtaeh was 17 years old.
Perhaps you've heard her story.
To use legal-talk, Rehtaeh was "allegedly" gang-raped by four boys in 2011 at a house party in Eastern Passage, when she was 15. One of the perpetrators took photos of the act, and shared it, sparking bullying and harassment
The "alleged" rape was reported to police. Police and school officials at Cole Harbour High knew of the allegations and of the photos being circulated. It was determined that there was not enough evidence to lay charges of rape or child pornography.
Rehtaeh changed schools to escape her tormentors. The harassment and taunting followed her, as boys contacted her to ask if she'd "do" them too !
Her story has caused a storm of outrage.
It has spread world-wide, causing the hacker-group "Anonymous" to become involved, threatening to release the names of the four boys.
It has become the top news story in Canada.
Talk of revenge, caused her parents to exhort people not to bully, or threaten, the alleged perpetrators, saying that was not be what Rehtaeh would want.
|Rehtaeh's mom holds photos of her daughter.|
The Premier of Nova Scotia has now appointed four different departments to look into what Rehtaeh endured, and we have learned today that the police are re-opening the case as "new information has been brought forward".
Isn't it a pity that Rehtaeh had to kill herself in order to make the justice system listen to her story ?
Her father released at statement after her death lamenting that Rehtaeh: "died of disappointment... disappointed in people she thought she could trust, her school, and the police ... She was my daughter, but she was your daughter too."
My heart goes out to her family and friends during this sad time.
My hope is that things change and they are not disappointed too.
For more information:
The Facebook page set up by Rehtaeh's family in her memory and to raise awareness about the effects of bullying.
Her father has since informed us that four of Rehtaeh's organs have "saved the life of a young woman with her heart. She also gave someone a new liver, a kidney, a new breath and a new chance to love. She saved the lives of four people with her final gift of life. She was that wonderful." He then added, "Someone out there is going to look at the world with my daughter's eyes. The most beautiful eyes I have ever seen".
Her father, Glen Canning, posted this open letter on his blog after her death:
Note: Apparently Rehtaeh was cremated. I'll leave my subject line as it is as it expresses the finality that I wanted to convey.