Glen Canning, the father of Rehtaeh Parsons – the 17-year-old who died after a suicide attempt following a sexual assault – is still speaking up for victims. His life is a heartbreaking testimony to how strong a father’s love is for his daughter and how some people – even after being devastated by tragedy – commit their lives to helping others.
Canning is haunted by what happened to his daughter; she was sexually assaulted and tormented by photos her assailants took and circulated after the attack. He says one of the things that haunts him most about the events that transpired is his knowledge that there were several people around who could have stepped in to stop what happened to his daughter.
From the Ottowa Citizen:
“We know what happens now, when we do nothing,” Glen Canning said Tuesday. “It can drive a victim to suicide. We have to let victims know that people care, and of course the best way to do that is to try to prevent them from being victims in the first place.”
Canning has been an outspoken supporter of victims since his daughter’s death. He’s working with other advocates to spread the message that if you do nothing to stop something like this from happening – it’s tantamount to being guilty yourself.
“Violence against women is a men’s issue. We need men to start setting examples, we need men to start speaking out, we need men to start challenging the culture that goes around with rape and sexual assault of women, where people make jokes about it or make light of it,” he said.
He believes the more the message is out there – the less people will have an excuse to look away. I applaud him for not only fiercely supporting his daughter, but for continuing to be a voice for victims even after her tragic death.