End of sexual abuse begins with men
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Feb 13, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

End of sexual abuse begins with men

Orleans News

Glen Canning has gone through the worst thing a father can experience. He lost his 17-year-old daughter Rehtaeh, not even a year ago.

She died of suicide after being the target of online bullying, as photos circulated of an alleged gang rape.

"Our daughter was ridiculed to death," he told a crowd at the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women's community discussion at city hall on Feb. 4. The Nova Scotian father was the keynote speaker.

While the boys involved were never charged with raping his daughter, two are facing charges for distributing child pornography.

Canning showed a message Rehtaeh's mother received from one of the boys, where he tried to say she gave consent despite having to be helped to the window of the bedroom to vomit because she was so intoxicated.

But instead of talking about how women can avoid sexual assaults, Parsons spoke about how we can prevent men from raping.

"Men need to stand up, they need to recognize, they need to stop it," he said. "Our system is really busted right now, and men are the reason. But men can be the solution."

He shared a message the father of one of the boys who allegedly raped his daughter posted on a Facebook page supporting the boys, that said the boy was just like his dad.

That was one of the discussion questions breakout groups later talked about: how can parents raise their boys to prevent them from being violent towards women.

He also spoke about the bystander mentality when it comes to sexual assault, especially when it involves alcohol. In many cases where a woman is assaulted, police go back to interview witnesses who saw the intoxicated woman taken from the party or bar by a complete stranger.

"There's a bystander mentality when it comes to violence against women," he said. "Why didn't someone say, 'Where are you going? What are you doing?" In his daughter's case, she was blamed as the victim. Cruel comments were made on social media, many too vulgar to put in print.

And Canning said the culture that allows those type of photos to be circulated and laughed at needs to end.

"She was disbelieved to death. And that's a system that needs to stop, that needs to end," he said. "I really do hope men start owning this, and men start being part of the solution."

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