Rehtaeh Parsons was a 17-year-old Canadian high student who hanged herself in April. Rehtaeh started having suicidal thoughts when she was 15 after she was raped by four boys who photographed the violation and sent it around to their friends and classmates. As if that weren’t bad enough, for the next 17 months, Rehtaeh’s classmates shunned, tormented and bulliedher mercilessly. No charges were ever filed.
Two months to the day after Rehtaeh’s death, feminists are launching a day of awareness around violence against women and a commemoration of Rehtaeh. As the organizers explain on the Hands Up for Rehtaeh page,
in light of this [Rehtaeh’s story], Steubenville, and numerous other rapes and sexual assaults in the news, we are making a call to action.
We are tired of girls and women being treated like sexual objects and the effect rape culture has on global society.
To that end, we are organizing a global day of awareness on violence against women, particularly rape culture (the institutional bias against victims and failure to prevent rape and sexual assault).
We ask you to join us on June 7th and write “Rehtaeh” on your wrist to let the world know you stand against rape culture.
Also: post pictures of your wrist (with “Rehtaeh” written on it) on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and explain why you’re doing so.