As the father of Rehtaeh Anne Parsons, I have come to firmly believe, through my own personal journey and Rae’s, that the sexual assaults, victim blaming and cyber harassment she faced are the symptoms of a grave problem in our society. At no other time in history have we seen our young people acting so much on impulse, from school shootings to sexual assaults, the defacement and dehumanization of victims of abuse. For us to continue as a species we need to have international conversations on how to build compassion, empathy and tolerance.
What defined my life a few short years ago is nothing like the days that define me now. I’ve lost a lot, gained a lot, and I’ve grown a lot. I still do the things I’ve always loved – photography – but they have a new place in my day.
BIO – Glen Canning is an advocate for victims of sexual assault. He is the father of Rehtaeh Anne Parsons, a Nova Scotia teenager who was sexually assaulted by four males at a home near Halifax in November 2011. Rehtaeh ended her life April 4th, 2013, following months of cyber-abuse and victim blaming. Glen has spoken about Rehtaeh’s case internationally and across Canada. Along with his daughter’s mother, Leah Parsons, he has helped bring about changes to the Criminal Code of Canada. For his work, Glen and Leah, along with Amanda Todd’s mother Carol, received the Rosalind Prober Award for Advocacy in 2013.
Experience and Skills
- Videographer/Television (ENG) Camera Operator
- Master Diver
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (HB/HC)
- Electronic Technician
- Mental Health First Aid (N.S. Certified)
- Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Pilot
Rehtaeh’s story has made a lot of necessary and positive changes. Changes to the Criminal Code of Canada were important but not nearly as important as seeing many young people stand up for what is right. We have heard back from many of them and their parents. It helps a great deal to know she has made a difference in the world.
Huffington Post Canada
Named one of Huffington Post Canada’s Top 50 Contributors.
On the 5th Anniversary of Huffington Post Canada I was named as a Top 50 Contributor for my writing on Rehtaeh, sexual violence, and issues of consent. It’s humbling to be named alongside Prime Minister Trudeau, astronaut Chris Hadfield, musician Drake, photographer and friend Donovan Mahoney, and many others.