The father of Rehtaeh Parsons says he tried his best to save his daughter’s life in an emotional blog posted on his website.
Glen Canning posted the entry Wednesday morning, a day after his daughter’s death made headlines around the world.
Rehtaeh was 17 years old when she died Sunday after being taken off life support, three days after attempting to take her own life. Her mother alleges Rehtaeh was raped by four boys who took photos of the incident. Her mother, Leah Parsons, says that sparked bullying and harassment.
“I asked her repeatedly what I could do, was I doing enough, what did she want from me?” Canning wrote. “She said she just wanted me to be her dad.”
Canning said he doesn’t want his daughter defined by a Google search about death or sexual assault. He said he felt compelled to write about Rehtaeh.
“She died struggling to live, much as she spent the last 18 months,” he wrote. “We went to counselling together. Sometimes I was the driver, sometimes the father, sometimes the counsellor.”
Message for justice minister
Canning’s post also addresses Nova Scotia’s justice minister. In it, he shares his disbelief that no charges were laid following his daughter’s allegations of rape and claim that a photo from the night she was attacked was circulated online.
“How is it possible for someone to leave a digital trail like that, yet the RCMP don’t have evidence of a crime? What were they looking for if photos and bragging weren’t enough?”
Canning said Rehtaeh’s case was treated like a minor incident of bullying, and not a sex assault.
“Isn’t the production and distribution of child porn a crime in this country?” he asked.
The people Rehtaeh thought she could trust let her down, including teachers and the police, Canning said.
“My daughter wasn’t bullied to death, she was disappointed to death,” he wrote. “For the love of god do something.”
Donations made a difference
Canning made special note of donating Rehtaeh’s organs.
“I found out this afternoon my daughter saved the life of a young woman with her heart. How fitting.”
But beyond that glimpse of something good, Canning said his life has become a nightmare.
“I feel like I’m dead inside.”
Canning updated his blog Wednesday afternoon, saying this will be the only statement he makes on his daughter’s death because he is too devastated.
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