This morning I woke up and read an article in the National Post about Rehtaeh's case. I'm not upset or mad. A little disappointed maybe. The writer, Christie Blatchford, makes a few statements I would like to address.
"What they had was a complainant whose evidence was all over the map, independent evidence that supported the notion that any sex was consensual, and no evidence that Rehtaeh was so drunk that she couldn't consent: The case was a mess." ~ Christie Blatchford
"What they had was a complainant whose evidence was all over the map..." Rehtaeh was intoxicated at the time and she has always stated she couldn't remember much of what happened. What she did say was all over the map and that is exactly what one should expect it to be from a 15-year-old girl who remembers very little but is being swamped at school and online with slut stories about what took place.
"...independent evidence that supported the notion that any sex was consensual, and no evidence that Rehtaeh was so drunk that she couldn't consent:" The two boys involved in taking and posing for the photograph stated Rehtaeh was throwing up when they had sex with her. That is not called consensual sex. That is called rape. They also stated they had to get her dressed when they were finished. She was passed out. That is the story they told to anyone at Rehtaeh's school who would listen. That is their account of what happened. There are numerous people who heard that and shared that. No evidence she was so drunk that she couldn't consent? How drunk does someone have to be? Drunk enough to get sick or drunk enough to not remember?
"The photo is of a male naked from the waist down, giving a thumbs-up sign, pressing into the bare behind of another person who is leaning out a window. What the picture doesn't reveal, however, is a recognizable face, if there even was a sexual assault going on, or if the second person was a female."
What did the person in the photograph say? That it was him, that the female was Rehtaeh, that she was vomiting, and that he was having sex with her. He repeated that story many times to many people all while texting that photo to God knows who. Hard to believe that could be presented to the Crown and dismissed but there you go.
"But there are two sides, even to this wrenching tale."
With that I agree. There are two sides:
So in the end all we're left with is the Criminal Code of Canada that states pretty clearly that what happened to Rehtaeh Parsons is called rape. Even if there was consensual sex before Rehtaeh passed out and got sick once she was in that state consent is no longer there. That's not called regret, it's called the law.
So why weren't they charged? I honestly have no idea. Reading the statistics it's not surprising but I have no idea in this case. The boys who raped Rehtaeh bragged about it. They photographed it. There's more evidence in Rehtaeh's case then there was in the Steubenville case.
"Proving the modern maxim that she who gets to social media first may set the script in stone, the post ignited a firestorm."
That is exactly what happened to Rehtaeh. The slut story spread around her school like a firestorm via social media while she desperately tried to deal with it. Her efforts weren't perfect but she did her best. Sorry it wasn't the 100 per cent perfect case that rape victims need in this country in order to get justice but she tried. And for that I am very proud of her.
I told Rehtaeh all the time that justice is a long shot and even than people will think she either asked for it, or she deserved it. I just wanted her to be prepared. She just wanted to be believed.
She mentioned last year a friend of hers was raped under similar circumstances by one of the same boys. I jumped at that because it would help support her case but Rehtaeh's friend wasn't interested in coming forward or talking to the police. She said she watched what had happened to our daughter and there was no way she was going to put herself through that. Who can blame her? Isn't that why most rape victims say nothing? Because it's never about the rapist, it's always about the victim.
"The girlfriend of Rehtaeh's who was at the party told police Rehtaeh was being flirtatious, ..."
It's always about the victim.
A woman holds a photo as several hundred people attend a community vigil to remember Rehtaeh Parsons at Victoria Park in Halifax on Thursday, April 11, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Angella Parsons addresses the crowd at a community vigil to remember her cousin, Rehtaeh Parsons, at Victoria Park in Halifax on Thursday, April 11, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Several hundred people attend a community vigil to remember Rehtaeh Parsons at Victoria Park in Halifax on Thursday, April 11, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, centre, was one of several hundred people who attended a community vigil to remember Rehtaeh Parsons at Victoria Park in Halifax on Thursday, April 11, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Friends embrace as several hundred people attend a community vigil to remember Rehtaeh Parsons at Victoria Park in Halifax on Thursday, April 11, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
These are photos of Halifax teenager <a href="http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1122345-who-failed-rehtaeh-parsons" target="_hplink">Rehtaeh Parsons, who was the victim of an alleged gang rape and an online bullying campaign</a> over the last few months. Her mother, Leah Parsons, posted the images and her daughter's tragic story on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angel-Rehtaeh/352644484835299?fref=ts" target="_blank">a Facebook memorial page</a>.
Online reaction to Parsons death has been swift. Hundreds of messages have flooded the memorial page set up by her mother. Many more have sounded off on Twitter.