I was born in Germany to Canadian parents. My dad was posted there as a member of the Canadian Air Force. My childhood was spent on bases across Canada nd I spent my last year of high school in St. Louis Missouri. I joined the Canadian Navy shortly after turning 18.
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.
I have a page set up that is dedicated to Rehtaeh’s life and her case. You can find it here. You can also read more about Rae at the Rehtaeh Parsons Society website or on her memorial Facebook page. 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.