Tuesday, August 13, 2013

hurt heart

I found myself crying again today for a girl I don't know and will never get to meet. The story of Rehtaeh Parsons has really shaken me ever since I first heard it months ago.  I feel such anger at how she was abandoned by her own peers and by the police, and I feel incredible sorrow that  the pain she carried brought her to her death. I wonder how anyone could think it was acceptable or justified to ever humiliate, degrade, take advantage of, molest and lie about a fellow peer. She wasn't a stranger to these boys, she was a student, could've been a friend, yet they treated her like some object they could discard. And it hurts my heart.

What hurts more is that it sounds like she was completely alone in all of this. I have yet to hear of any friends who supported her or stood by her or tried to dispel any rumours. Did the one friend who took her to the boy's house really not remember the events well enough to connect that she was absolutely drunk and not able to walk on her own? My friends and I had made a pact that we were to watch out for each other when we drank. One of us was a little more susceptible to poor choices when she drank, so we needed to watch for her the most, which meant checking up on her, not letting her go anywhere alone and taking away her car keys. It's a shame that this 'friend' didn't have the same values, and that her mom didn't help either. How do you see a drunk girl and not worry about what is going on? Even if she were sober enough to consent, as a mother I would've insisted she come back home, as I was the one who was responsible for her (since she was staying at my house for the night with my daughter, that is) It's too bad that no one thought of that. That they chose to think that Rehtaeh was the kind of girl who would drink so much that she'd ditch her friend to have sex with two boys she didn't know very well.

 Read Rehtaeh's father, Glen Canning, describe the painful experience here. Read Rehtaeh's Story Then Tell Me She Wasn't Raped.  If you can, read his other pieces too. He's a good writer and a good father. If my heart hurts at what happened to her, how much more his must feel like bursting.

It makes me angry that these boys are only going to be charged with possession of child pornography, and only two of them, when so much more went on. It makes me angry that the police couldn't do anything for Rehtaeh. Or wouldn't. I know that they can't press charges based upon assumption or a one-sided story, and they need some type of proof, but that it took over a year to even make this recent arrest is ridiculous!  How could there not be enough evidence to go on? I am so angry at these boys that I could spit! (and I hate spitting) That they thought what they did was ok. No big deal. A huge joke. That rape was something that is acceptable when a girl drinks too much. It appalls me to think that boys can get together and decide that this is something that would be a fun idea. That not one of them thought it wasn't right. Surely someone in their group of friends, someone in the school, someone they knew, thought  that something wasn't right with this picture. How can every one all think the same way? Did any one mention it to a school counselor or go to the police or even talk to Rehtaeh?

I fear for us as a country where actions like these aren't questioned.  But it happens every day. Boys take what they want and girls get blamed because of the clothes she wears or the amount she drinks.

One of my favourite writers, Ann Voskamp, wrote a blog piece just after the Steubenville rape trial ended that really stuck with me. While it mentions a more well-known case in the US, this still rings true for all of us. She put it perfectly when she wrote,  
When the prevailing thinking is boys will be boys — girls will be garbage.
And that is never the heart of God.
Unless a man looks to Jesus, a man doesn’t know how to treat a woman.

Her piece is full of the heart of God and how Real Men treat a woman God treasures. (and He treasures us all). After Steubenville: 25 Things our Sons Need to know About Manhood.

We need to change.
We desperately need Him.


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