Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Dark Side Of Being Young

Rehtaeh Parsons died on Sunday. She was 17 years old.
Today as I was waiting outside the mall for the bus, it was bombs away. F*** this, F*** that, all over the place. There was talk of a fight. And of course the cigarette smoke.

And it was all coming from kids 16 and under. A few things came to mind. Mostly I was annoyed because I was having a bad day, plus I was making judgments. Then a question came to mind, "Who is parenting these kids anyway?"  It's very disturbing, and this was just a small snapshot.

Meet Rehtaeh Parsons. The Nova Scotia girl attended a small party with a friend two years ago when she was 15 years old and had a bit of vodka. Allegedly four boys began raping her and taking photographs, which would surface at her school and in her community. Classmates began calling her a slut. After a year of investigating, police laid no charges, saying it was a "he said, she said" occurrence.

The family moved, but Rehtaeh fought depression. “She was never left alone. Her friends turned against her, people harassed her, boys she didn’t know started texting her and Facebooking asking her to have sex with them since she had had sex with their friends. It just never stopped,” said Rehtaeh's mom.

Finally, on Thursday Rehtaeh tried to kill herself, and on Sunday was taken off of life support.  Another young life snuffed out by assault and bullying.

Look. Look at that smile. Be at peace, Rehtaeh.

Mark Andrew Nouwen