Rehtaeh Parsons, whose tragic story made headlines around the world following the end of her life in April, 2013, will be the subject of a new book by her father, Glen Canning, with award-winning writer Susan McClelland.
Rehtaeh, an introverted, gifted teenager who loved animals and studied quantum physics and parallel universes, had been sexually assaulted by four boys before she eventually took her own life. A photo taken during the assault quickly spread across social media networks. Police, initially optimistic, eventually dropped the case. Shaming from her peers and schoolmates persisted, sending Rehtaeh into depression and drug abuse before her death.
Rehtaeh’s story spawned protests in cities across Canada, and inspired the formation of anti-violence groups around the world. A precursor to the #metoo movement, it also sparked a national judicial review, ordered by the highest levels of government, a review of mental health services for assaulted teens, and an overhaul of how schools deal with cyber exploitation. The public outcry around her case resulted in it being reopened, with new charges laid, eventually resulting in convictions.
“Writing this book about Rehtaeh’s life and tragic death is not only a way to honour her legacy, but a way to let the many young people in Canada going through similar situations know that they’re not alone,” said Glen Canning,
The book is scheduled to publish in the spring of 2020. It will chronicle how Glen Canning confronted both family tragedy and a pernicious, persistent culture of misogyny that created the conditions for that tragedy. It is the story of a father, a daughter, a community, and what it takes to heal.
The deal was arranged by Rob Firing at the Transatlantic Agency.