NEWS

#YouKnowHerName encouraging for child porn victim’s father

11/14/2014 12:00 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST
The father of a Nova Scotia girl whose name became synonymous with conversations about rape, consent and cyberbullying around the world says he’s glad to see his daughter’s story trending on social media, despite a statutory publication ban.

The Halifax-area teen was photographed having sex and then bullied relentlessly when the photo was passed around her school. Her family argues it was sexual assault. 

The hashtag #youknowhername was trending across the country Thursday night as people voiced their frustration over not being able to say the name of the teenage girl who died after a suicide attempt last year.

That same day, the young man who pleaded guilty to making child pornography as a youth was given a conditional discharge for 12 months. The 20-year-old can't be identified because he was 17 when the incident occurred in 2011.

The girl’s name was also trending.

“It means an awful lot. It really touches you to see how much impact there’s been in this story,” said her father, who also can’t be named to protect his daughter's identity.

“Obviously this story can bring about an awful lot of positive change and I think a lot of people want it to bring about positive change so erasing her name from it just wouldn’t be fair.”

He calls the publication ban “wrong-headed.”

“I think it has actually worked against everything…. When the story broke a lot of people felt there was a grave injustice that had happened here and to add a publication ban on top of it, of course, that adds to that feeling of injustice, that feeling of unfairness. I think that touched an awful lot of people when it comes right down to it,” he said.

“[The judge] may have done this in some way to enforce the law or whatever, but it didn’t come across like that at all. It came across as insulting, it came across as too little too too late.”

It “basically silenced our daughter,” he said.

So far there have been no charges for those who violated the case’s publication ban. The police were investigating seven files, including the victim’s father.

“I think they made the right move.”

The girl's father wants it to be legal to publicize her name in Canada. He was supposed to speak to students at a high school in Ontario, but they cancelled his talks because of the ban.

“It’s created a mess where people think you can’t say her name at all and that’s just not true,” he said. “Lift this ban; it’s ridiculous.”

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