With Rehtaeh’s birthday coming up on the 9th, I thought it would be fitting to write this article.
(Before I continue, I want to make it clear that I am not related to Rehtaeh any more than anyone that is reading this article)
So far, with regards to OpJustice4Rehtaeh, we have had two protests; there were plans for a third which were scrapped early on for reasons I will not get into at this time, but I feel the need to pay homage to Rehtaeh just the same.
Since working with Rehtaeh’s case in the past several months, and even more so within the past few months, I have come to learn a lot about the young late Miss Rehtaeh. Her love for dogs, fascination with crows, her love for all animals, and her family including her little sisters.
I have come to learn her birthday is December 9, 1995, and that when she passed away, she left behind 2 sets of parents who loved her, and still love her very dearly, her little sisters who meant the world to her, as she did to them, and her dogs.
I have also come to find that Rehtaeh, in her untimely and most unfortunate passing, has brought together quite a vast community of people – both concerned citizens, and Anonymous – to join forces with her family and close friends who knew her in life. I am also coming to find at every turn that, of Rehtaeh’s friends in life, sadly, there were few who were true (I’ll save that part for a later post).
I know that, as tragic as Rehtaeh’s passing is, and the turn of events and the crimes that lead to her death – and I’m calling them crimes, because that’s what they ARE – it is a blessing that I was able to meet Rehtaeh’s father and have communication with both Rehtaeh’s parents from time to time. It is a blessing that I get to read and hear from people all over the world who share in such grief that are reaching out to other like-minded people under one cause.
It is maddening, that the case for Rehtaeh is being dragged out in such a way that it has been. Let’s go back to the beginning; I think we can all remember when the police had decided they were going to close Rehtaeh’s case with insufficient evidence. It was bad enough that they dragged their feet from the very beginning. Quite a community rallied around the family at that time. There were protests had, much like I have mentioned above, in which I was thankful that there was SOMETHING being done towards the cause and the case. I am, however disheartened, as most of you may be as well, at the lacking in action at all levels of our society. Where are the comprehensive, public inquiries/investigations that were promised? I know for some of these, they had to be put on hold for just cause – understandable as that may be, there is really no need for any further investigations to be dragged out to such a degree as was done in the past. Big changes are going to come about.
As I continue on this journey in seeking Justice4Rehtaeh, I know I am not alone in this fight. There are thousands of you reading this at some point or another, and some of which are thinking justice won’t be served.
I am almost inclined to agree with you whole-heartedly on this matter. For quite some time, I would have agreed. One thing I hold on to for the cause, however is this: of all those who failed Rehtaeh and all parties involved in the case; those who failed need to ask themselves, this:
→ By not securing justice for Rehtaeh, are we really doing any favours to the perpetrators involved?
→ By not investigating this case to the fullest extent that is within our capabilities, are we really doing a service to our community?
→ At what point did it become okay to rape without a thorough investigation and subsequent consequences?
→ At what point did it become okay to bully without a complete and thorough investigation and subsequent consequences?
→ How can we rectify the situation and bring those to justice who have committed the crimes?
Those are questions I have for the legal system. Those are questions that at some point or another, each public servant who was directly involved will have to ask themselves. The questions I have for the rest of society, however, I’ll save for another article.
I know that Rehtaeh would want us to continue to speak the truth; she would want us to face adversity and challenge it head-on. How do I know this, you may ask? Well, take a look at the courage that young lady had from the time she was just 15 years old. She spoke up about what happened to her from day one, and not only did she tell her family and her friends, but she had the courage that I didn’t have to go to the police. She knew a crime was committed and she wanted there to be justice, and the truth to be told.
This coming weekend, right before Rehtaeh’s birthday is a Candle Light Vigil in Memory of Rehtaeh Parsons to be held the day before her birthday. I invite everyone from near and far to attend. If you can not make the vigil, light a candle in your home on the 8th, between the time of 6-8 pm a.s.t. and take a picture for the world to see that you show your support. Remember Rehtaeh and what she stood for; equality in all that is living, truth even when it hurts, and justice even when it means turning in those who are held above others including the law.
Until then, we’ll see how trial goes today.
I am Anonymous & We Are Legion.