Works Cited Borsuk, Ian. “The RCMP Is Failing to Protect Teenage Girls. ” Vice. VICE Media LLC. 10 April 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. In this article, the issues surrounding the mishandling of rape cases by police officers and other officials are discussed. The source examines the investigation in the Rehtaeh Parsons case, or lack thereof, as the charges were easily dismissed and the boys accused never questioned. It relates Rehtaeh’s case back to that of Amanda Todd, who also committed suicide after explicit photographs of her were published online.
The article shows the juxtaposition between the two cases, noting that even though they took place on opposite ends of the country, they are both eerily similar in a number of characteristics, including the fact that both girls committed suicide before a full investigation began. The role of school administrators in quelling bullying and preventing toxic pictures from being shared is also an additional subject for debate mentioned.
This source is relevant to my independent case study because it blatantly discusses the flaws within the law enforcement system, as well as how personal biases can inadvertently having a large impact in determining whether or not cases were justifiable overall. The fact that the RCMP decided not to follow through with an investigation in the Rehtaeh Parsons case thanks to ‘insufficient evidence’ is definitely an interesting situation that has helped me to see the case from a new angle.
Although this article clearly displays a strong bias against the RCMP and all legal jurisdictions in Canada, it also allows me to study the case through a very different viewpoint than my own, which I believe is absolutely essential when gathering a variety of knowledge on a subject. This article does an excellent job at discussing the moral grey area that everyone involved in this case seems to have been stuck in- the grey areas surrounding rape while intoxicated and whether or not to pursue a case with few real leads of witnesses, to name a few.
Overall, the fact that the the lack of drive and investigation by the police force may have been a cause for Rehtaeh’s death, in addition to the the various ‘grey areas’ mentioned throughout this article makes it a worthy source with a bounty of compelling arguments. Haykowski, Teresa. “Legal Responses To Cyberbullying: The ‘Unsupervised Public Playground’. ” Lawnow 37. 6 (2013): 34-37. Canadian Reference Centre. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. This article primarily focuses on the concept of cyberbullying, and the effect that online activity can have on the mental well-being of teenagers.
It notes that since cyberbullying is not done face-to-face, it is often easier for bullies as they feel a sense of anonymity, which makes them more confident with their attacks and harmful messages. The article also examines some statistics regarding the psychological effect cyberbullying has on its victims, citing higher rates of school drop-outs, severe anxiety, and a much higher suicide rate overall. The various legislations regarding cyberbullying passed by provincial governments in Canada are also discussed, as well as if the severity of said legislative responses was necessary and justified.
Additionally, the debate over whether or not schools have the right to control student behavior off of school property is touched upon in this article. This source is relevant to my independent study because it demonstrates how cyberbullying can very easily become a powerful weapon that can lead to terrible consequences, as it did in the Rehtaeh Parsons case. It effectively analyzes how lack of understanding about how to deal with cyberbullying can result in the mishandling of cases, and what that means for the victims of situations involving unacceptable online conduct.
This is a key factor in the Rehtaeh Parsons case, as the police did not know how to pursue this case thanks to the fact that most of the interactions, pictures, and videos sent took place online. Additionally, the information that this source provides ties back to a very important fact that I wish to discuss in my independent study topic, regarding privacy rights in Canada and how everyone has the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
The issue of online harassment and how privacy rights lull people into believing that their phone is a safe space to spread hate is an absolutely crucial part of how cyberbullying can become such a powerful weapon. The examination of the logic behind cyberbullying as opposed to other forms of negative behavior is an extremely interesting subject that I believe to be essential to this independent study. Kingston, Anne. “Still No Justice. ” Maclean’s 128. 15 (2015): 22-26. Canadian Reference Centre. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
In this article, the toxic ideals surrounding rape culture are examined. It talks about society’s tendency to dismiss women’s claims of rape, and the moral grey area regarding rape cases when alcohol is involved. The article discusses if the police have the right to act as both jury and judge when it comes to determining if they should pursue cases, especially when it comes to situations when a person may have been unconscious or inebriated. As well, the rising amount of sexual assault cases dismissed by courts (60% of all cases in Nova Scotia) is also investigated.
This includes looking at the direct correlation between a high provincial sexual assault rate and the number of sexual assault cases dismissed in that province overall. This source is relevant to my independent case study overall as it directly references the Rehtaeh Parsons case by showing the difficulty of charging individuals with rape thanks to societal views. It shows how the police are more likely to question the women making rape claims than the actual perpetrator, which demonstrates underlying tones of gender biased social attitudes.
This ties back to the principle of rape culture, and the flawed perceptions on what counts as non consensual sexual activity, or rape. The ideals and views of society on non consensual sex is a key factor in my independent study topic, as many of the factors contributing to the Rehtaeh Parsons case are based on these flawed societal notions. This article, and the brutally honest portrayal of rape and the discrimination and harassment that follows makes this an extremely valuable and unique source overall. McGuire, Patrick. Inside Anonymous’s Operation to Out Rehtaeh Parsons’s Rapists. ” Vice. VICE Media LLC. 12 April 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. This article focuses on the online hacktivist group Anonymous, a vigilante-type organization that seeks to bring justice to issues that have not been adequately investigated by law enforcement, among others. An Anonymous member was interviewed by Vice, during which they discussed the role Anonymous played in the Rehtaeh Parsons case, the most prominent point being how they managed to uncover the identities of the four men involved in the rape.
The article also discusses how the no-rules strategy Anonymous operates under has received a fair bit of backlash from those who believe that their methods of gleaning information through hacking is unethical and morally wrong. However, the Anonymous member states that their sources come from a variety of different ways, and the majority of their evidence was directly brought to them from other-like minded individuals on the internet. Anonymous also references the police and school officials involved in the Rehtaeh Parsons case frequently, calling them incompetent and claiming that they should be punished.
This source is relevant to my independent study because it demonstrates how much the internet has changed the very basis of how cases are solved. Thanks to mediums such as twitter, which is where Anonymous first learned about the Rehtaeh Parsons case, something as simple as a suicide in a small town in Nova Scotia can soon become a global issue. The internet has also made it very easy to glean information on people, as shown by the amount of information Anonymous was able to find out about the four perpetrators, including home addresses, photos, and names of family members.
This has been argued to be a violation of the privacy rights of the four boys, however, some have debated that as all of the information they are putting online about themselves was done with their permission, no rights are actually being violated. That debate is a key point I wish to mention in my independent study, as it is a relevant part of the discussion surrounding how the outcome of the Rehtaeh Parsons case would differ from a similar case twenty years ago thanks to technology.
Overall, whether the work of Anonymous is doing more harm than good is debatable, but there’s no doubt that the age of the internet has influenced the way the justice system operates as a whole. Mitchell, Penni. “Harassment As Blood Sport. ” Herizons 29. 1 (2015): 5. Canadian Reference Centre. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. This source discusses the dangerous nature of harassment, and how the internet has dramatically changed how and when sexual harassment will occur.
It examines various studies, including Computers In Human Behavior, a journal that states that over 20% of all texters have been tricked into sexting by one or more of their partners. Additionally, it found that the level of trauma in those forced into sharing explicit photos was actually higher than those who had been forced into having physical sex. The article also comments upon the trend of publicly shaming women based on physical attributes, referencing a CityTV reporter that had extremely crude remarks shouted at her while she attempted to talk about a soccer game.
The issue of sexual harassment in the military is also briefly discussed. This source is relevant to my independent study because it focuses on how negative harassment can severely impact individuals, as it did in the Rehtaeh Parsons case. The statistics regarding the lasting mental health problems that result from internet harassment are of special interest to me, specifically regarding how online assault can sometimes become more damaging than physical. This is thanks to the fact that, just as in the Rehtaeh Parsons case, images and messages sent online can never truly disappear like physical marks can.
I feel like that is a really important part of harassment that I want to touch upon in my independent study. As well, the misogynistic side of harassment, covering the oversexualization of the physical attributes of women, as shown through the derogatory remarks made to news reporters and military personnel alike in the article, is an issue that I wish to research further. This article has provided me with a wealth of general information on that subject, information that I look forward to expanding on further in other sources.