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She got drunk at a party

2013-04-15T23:11:54+00:00

She got drunk at a party.

It was November 2011, and 15-year-old straight-A student Rehtaeh Parsons left her home in Cole Harbor, a suburb of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with a girlfriend. They headed over to the house of a family friend in Eastern Passage, the next town south of Cole Harbor.

There was an adult asleep in the house. Several boys were there, of a similar age as the two girls. They all began drinking vodka together. It was a party atmosphere.

She got drunk at a party.

Things got blurry for Rehtaeh after that. Her girlfriend left the house, leaving Rehtaeh alone in the company of the boys. One of the boys led Rehtaeh upstairs, and sexually assaulted her. Three of the other boys joined him, taking turns on her.

One of them yelled, “Take a picture, take a picture!” And they did. They took pictures of themselves raping Rehtaeh. One of them smiled for the camera and gave a thumbs-up.

She got drunk at a party.

Rehtaeh didn’t remember much of that night, other than vomiting out of a window. But the pictures weren’t nearly as blurry as her memory. Within three days, one of the boys sent the pictures to other children at Rehtaeh’s 1000-student school, and in her town. Then the bullying began at school, with children calling Rehtaeh a slut to her face and shunning her. Others taunted her through texts and Facebook messages. Boys she didn’t even know texted her, asking her for sex. Within a few days, she told her mother what had happened that night. They reported the incident to the police.

She got drunk at a party.

After a year of investigation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the Parsons that no charges could be filed because it was a case of “he said, she said,” all the people involved were minors, and a conviction could not be won in court. Meanwhile, the bullying online and the shunning continued for Rehtaeh. She went to live with her father in Halifax, and switched schools in an effort to escape the bullying, but it didn’t stop. She suffered from depression, and spent six weeks in hospital with suicidal thoughts.

She got drunk at a party.

Recently Rehtaeh (“Heather” spelled backwards) had been doing better, or so her mother thought. Rehtaeh had moved back home with her mother, had started seeing a therapist, and was combating her depression. She was still on edge, though. And on Thursday, April 4, she had an argument on the phone with a friend. Then Rehtaeh locked herself in the bathroom and hanged herself. Her mother broke down the door, but it was too late, and the damage had been done. Rehtaeh’s body clung to life until Sunday, April 7, when she finally died of her injuries in hospital.

She got drunk at a party.

Public outrage is now directed at the RCMP for failing to prosecute any of Rehtaeh’s rapists or her bullies. The hacker group Anonymous has threatened to release the names of her rapists, then withdrew that threat at the request of Rehtaeh’s family, who don’t want to see vigilante justice delivered in Rehtaeh’s name. The RCMP now says they have a new suspect and are reopening the investigation, while Nova Scotia’s premier, Darrell Dexter, has assigned no fewer than four Nova Scotia government departments to conduct their own investigations into the mishandling of the case.

But amid all the recriminations, all the breast-beating over bullying, cyberbullying, the “Lord Of The Flies” mentality of schoolchildren, and the evils of social media, it’s important to remember how all of this started, and what marked the beginning of the end of Rehtaeh Parson’s young life.

She got drunk at a party.

7 Comments
  1. 2013-04-16T03:30:31+00:00 03:30

    1. What keeps boggling my mind is that these pictures displayed the faces of these boys. Of course, I haven’t seen the photos so I don’t know the complete details. Was nobody able to identify them at the time? I assume they were strangers to Rehteah if she didn’t identify them herself?

    2. The fact that you are using “She got drunk at a party” against her, is just another disgusting form of bullying. Drinking is always a bad idea, whether underage or not. But being drunk is NOT an invitation to get raped!!!

    3. How DARE Rehtaeh’s OWN FAMILY refuse to let Anonymous post the names of these boys!!!!!! This hypocritical beyond belief!!!!! SHAME ON THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not only are they disrespecting their own daughter on an unimaginable scale, but they are selfishly focusing so much on their own image that they can’t see that they are actually just encouraging violent criminals to re-offend. I don’t even know Rehteah, but I’m SURE she wouldn’t want this to happen to other girls. SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • 2013-04-16T12:03:01+00:00 12:03

      Welcome Justice, thanks for reading! Aliens are all about personal responsibility, so I think it’s important not to forget poor Rehtaeh’s role in her own demise. She didn’t live long enough to learn some of the basic rules for social interaction:
      1. Never put yourself in a position where you can be victimized. Be aware of your surroundings and be vigilant. (This means not getting drunk to the point of being incapable of fighting off an attacker.)
      2. If you arrive with a wingman, leave with your wingman. Never abandon your wingman.
      3. Always provide your own transportation to and from an event. That way you can leave when you need to, without waiting for your driver or a passenger.
      4. Never rely on the kindness of strangers (or friends) to protect you. Your “friends” can turn on you in an instant.

      Aliens have two more rules:
      5. Bring more than enough firepower. “Enough” is open to interpretation.
      6. Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

      ;-)

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      • 2013-04-17T09:38:25+00:00 09:38

        All true. But remember, she was 15, and I doubt she had been properly educated on proper Alien conduct, therefore, I think Alien community should forgive her actions and focus on spreading the Alien message to young minds before they make big mistakes. She cannot be blamed for the Aliens’ lack of proper teaching.

        Like

      • 2013-04-17T12:07:35+00:00 12:07

        Hence this mission log. ;-) Heed our words, denizens of Earth!

        Like

      • Sweetie Pie permalink
        2013-04-18T07:04:31+00:00 07:04

        Reply on bullet point # 3 – I learned to drive stick, just in case…

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      • 2013-04-18T12:38:35+00:00 12:38

        Did you see that carjacker in NJ who just got sentenced to 5 years in jail? He got caught because he couldn’t drive the manual-transmission Porsche 911 he had just carjacked.
        When the Greater Martian Co-Prosperity Sphere officially takes over the administration of local affairs on this wretched little planet, convicted carjackers will be summarily executed and their organs harvested for the transplant program. Until then, you’ll need to shoot them yourself when they attempt the crime.

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      • Sweetie Pie permalink
        2013-04-19T07:24:58+00:00 07:24

        Well, I just wanted to be able to get myself out of a bad situation if required, but if it means I get to drive away with a Porsche 911, so be it.

        Like

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