Rehtaeh Parsons

Rehtaeh Parsons was a typical, 17 year-old teenager in Dartmouth Nova Scotia. At a party in 2011, then 15 yesr-old Rehtaeh was allegedly sexually assaulted by four boys, who then posted pictures of the incident online. Afterwards not only was Rehtaeh understandably traumatized but relentless bullying from her peers after being labeled a "slut".

Though Rehtaeh reported the incident to the police, they soon dropped the case without charges. On April 4 2013, Rehtaeh took her own life.

Rehtaeh's story is just one of too many like hers where young women are sexually assaulted and then subjected to the public violence of victim blaming.

Nova Scotia’s Justice Minister Ross Landry passed the provincial Cyber Safety Act after public outcry to Rehtaeh's death, which allows victims of online violence to take their cases to court. However, the men responsible for Rehtaeh's assault have not been brought to justice. Because of the nature of the attacks against Rehtaeh and the online distribution of the images of her assault, her case was thrown out.

Rehtaeh Parson's tragically short life shows the real consequences of a society that blames the victims of sexual assault for being assaulted. Her memory lives on.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.