HALIFAX – The father of Rehtaeh Parsons says he delivered a statement to the United Nations on Monday, telling the commission on the status of women how his daughter’s death after a suicide attempt in 2013 was directly related to cyberbullying.
Glen Canning confirmed in an email that he delivered the statement during a panel discussion entitled Violence in the Digital Age.
Parsons’ family says the girl was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted in November 2011 and bullied for months after a digital photo of the alleged assault was passed around her school in Cole Harbour, N.S.
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In his prepared statement, which appears on his website, Canning says he and the girl’s mother have been advocating for victims of sexual assault and cybercrime, roles that have led to the realization that their daughter’s case is far from unique.
The statement says that for many women and teenagers suffering from online abuse, reporting such incidents can be heartbreaking and the results are often futile.
As well, the statement suggests that governments have been slow to take action, and victims are being treated as if they are part of the crime.