Rehtaeh Parsons was only 17 years old when she hanged herself this week, becoming another victim of long-term abuse and bullying. But her story isn’t like the other stories of teen bully victims who take their own lives. In fact, Parsons is a story more similar to the young female victim at the center of the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. This young lady was another casualty of a rape culture that continually victimizes those who are already victims.
Rehtaeh Parsons was reportedly raped two years ago when she was only 15. She was young, drunk, and naive, and four teenage boys took advantage of her, making sure to photograph the exploits. When photos of the rape went viral, she wasn’t treated as the victim that she is. Instead, her peers relentlessly targeted her.
She was slut-shamed and bullied for being a victim of a crime. Teenage girls treated her like she was the instigator, like she deserved to be raped, and treated her like she was a whore for what she went through. That is perhaps the most disgusting part of all of thisÂ—that young girls participated in such despicable behavior as to victimize someone that could have very well had been one of them. And it is because of them, and because of those four boys that Rehtaeh took her own life.