Anonymous is at it again, calling for justice for the family of 17-year old Rahtaeh Parsons, Halifax, Nova Scotia, who committed suicide 18months after she was “allegedly” gang raped by four young men at a party. The assault was photographed, the picture distributed among her school and she was bullied because of it. Parsons had to change schools but couldn’t get away from the pain.
She was 15 at the time of the gang rape.
Although her family did go to police, RCMP never pressed charges for the distribution of the photograph (which is distribution of child pornography) or the crime itself saying they couldn’t prove without a doubt who took the picture or who the four rapists were. Parsons wasn’t able to clearly identify her attackers and no one at the party would come forth. Parsons didn’t tell her family about the assault for days after so a rape kit was never completed.
It took police a full year before they concluded nothing could be done. Justice couldn’t be served, according to them.
In several interviews with media, Parsons’ parents talk about how their daughter had changed and how on that fateful day when she was upset and locked herself in the bathroom to hang herself they broke down the door but it was too late. Although Parsons was still alive, too much oxygen was cut off and she had to be taken off life support.
Thanks to Canadian journalist, Warren Kinsella, Anonymous is now involved. Kinsella wrote an open letter on his website asking the hacker group for justice, appealing to them to find the “little bastards” and make sure justice is served. Within 2-hours Anonymous uncovered the names of two of the four assailants and now say they have a third. They’ve told authorities in their usual Youtube video style if they don’t make sure justice is served they would release the names of the rapists.
It’s sad this poor young woman had to endure such brutality. Even more sad in a disgusting kind of way is that the police couldn’t press charges against anyone. But the most disturbing thing of all is this isn’t an isolated incident. It seems to be a growing trend among teens to firstly, openly rape people and secondly, think it’s OK to pull out their smartphones to capture the moment, then distribute it through Facebook, Twitter and text messaging.
When did our youth loose a sense of decency and compassion?
Is this what growing up in the digital, social media era is all about? Does looking through life via a small sized TV screen disconnect you from the fact that it’s a human being that is being assaulted and then humiliated? What inspires these onlookers to just watch and then record for prosperity? To forward the evidence as if it’s a joke instead of a brutal, violent crime against women? Is it really more important to have a picture or video go viral then to stop or report a brutal assault on a peer? WTF is happening to our society?
Too many of these incidents have happened over recent years. The case of the football players in Steubenville, Ohio where they blatantly bragged about the rape on Twitter and Facebook is one example. Another is the 2010 gang rape of a then 16-year old girl at a rave outside of Vancouver, where onlookers watched and posted video to Facebook which then went viral. Police told them to take down the photos and video. The youth blatantly refused saying they could do what they want on their Facebook page. Do what they want while forcing a young woman to relive one of the most devastating events in her life, over and over again.
Where is society failing our teens? Why aren’t our teens being taught about morals or how they should help another person in need not try to take advantage of them when they are weak and vulnerable? Is this new game of rape and record today’s version of The Hunger Games where teens try to destroy each other using emotional and physical abuse as warfare?
It’s frankly disgusting and it’s going to take more than Anonymous forcing police to punish the culprits to stop it.
Statistics are surfacing regarding the effects “hyper-texting” has on teens. Hyper-texting is when 120 texts are sent per day, and while that number seems high, check a teen’s phone and you’ll see they’re either hitting this number or close to it. When the average teen spends more than three hours per day texting it’s not hard to reach that number.
The negative effects fall into the categories of mental health and unhealthy behaviours including: 51% more likely to be binge drinkers, 41% more likely to have tried illicit drugs, three and half times more like to be sexual active and 90% more like to have had four or more sexual partners.
These stats aside, too much texting and social media usage also seems to be effecting our youth’s ability to make proper moral decisions and this is a sickness of today’s society that has to stop. Parents, teachers, care givers – we all need to come together and teach the next generation what it means to care about other people. To not want to benefit socially from their misfortune and most importantly to stop and report brutal criminal acts when they witness them happening.
If we don’t stop it now the teens of today will be adults of tomorrow, with these moral values (or lack thereof) and society will be more brutal than ever before. Just try to stop bullying then, in a world full of adult bullies. [ Source]