Please be aware that this article has some infuriating quotes.
"Bullying" is a subjective term, and its meaning has changed in the last generation.
In the last year, I read a book on bullying, with Q & A, not because I was interested in the topic, but because I needed the CEUs (Continuing Educational Units) for my license.
The book was a pleasant surprise.
One chapter, in particular, focused upon over protective parents, and linked this to bullying, as the child grows up, so overly protected (the hyper reaction to neglect) that he does not learn how to 'negotiate' varying circumstances in life, which may lead to bullying.
There are many causes behind bullying, and there are many ways in which bullying is handled, but it is clear, however, that bullying of today is not your grandparents' teasing of yesteryear. The book was an excellent psychological study, and not a politically correct moralizing, walking in circles and carrying signs, "down with hate." It is practical, and it is based on broad research. "
In this story, there are things within the language which should provide insight into the case. I have put the quotes in italics, and have added emphasis for you. Statement Analysis within the article is in bold type
One of the two boys convicted of distributing a photo of himself having sex with Rehtaeh Parsons , the 17-year-old Canadian teen who died after she was taken off life support following a suicide attempt, has given his first interview. He insists the sex was consensual and that he didn't 'bully' Rehtaeh, while his parents defend him as a good kid "who's made some mistakes."
Parsons was hanging out a window after having just vomited, being penetrated, when the photo was taken without her knowledge or consent. She was just 15. The two boys who had sex with her, both 16, passed the photo to several friends. It spread like wildfire and she was cruelly mocked. Parsons attempted to hang herself two years later and suffered severe brain damage. She was taken off life support a short while later.
Please note that hanging oneself is a strong act of violence, an "active" suicide, rather than a more "passive" suicide, such as overdosing on pills.
The two who were in the photo and took the photo, respectively, are both now 20; one pled guilty to manufacturing child pornography and the other to distributing it. Neither was given any jail time. The teen in the photo was sentenced Thursday to one year of probation and ordered not to drink alcohol. Their names can't be legally published in Canada. (The Parsons family has pushed for Rehtaeh's name to be published and her story to be told.)
In an interview with the National Post, the teen and his parents insisted that the sex was consensual.
Note: the victim cannot refute this claim. We, therefore, look to the perpetrators' own words for insight.
Parsons' parents have called it rape. (The police said they didn't have enough evidence to charge them with sexual assault; they also waited 10 months to investigate.)
Question for consideration: Does this statement from one of the perpetrators tell you that it was not rape?
"Obviously, if I felt like if she didn't want it, it wouldn't have happened," the teen told the paper. "It was all mutual. We were in the groove."
Please note the following about his statement:
1. "Obviously" means he wishes you to take, as obvious, his statement, and not question it.
2. "if I felt" may be an embedded admission. He allows for the possibility of feeling that she "didn't want it"
3. Note that "it" is sexual intercourse. He does not say "she didn't want me", but depersonalizes.
4. "it wouldn't have happened" is passive language. He does not say "I would not have done it", or "I would not have had sex with her." Passivity is used in language to conceal responsibility.
5. Note that he does not say "it was mutual" but feels the need to emphasize with "all" mutual.
6. Note that "we", being in the "groove" (I would need to explore his personal, subjective, internal dictionary on what the "groove" is, since the victim was throwing up) may refer to he and his male friend.
During his sentencing, as the National Post's Christie Blatchford notes, the teen said that Parsons' eventual death had nothing to do with his actions, telling the court,
"I will not live with the guilt of someone passing away, but I will live with the guilt of sending the picture."
"I have pled guilty to distributing child pornography, not a sexual assault"
"I never played a part in the bullying her, nor would I."
Please note that "never" is not a substitute for "did not." Next note what the National Post's journalist Christie Blanchard said about the teen, found within the article:
Blatchford calls that "a courageous challenge to the public narrative" around the case and calls the teen "brave." The boy's mother, meanwhile, insists that he's a good kid, although she doesn't understand "why kids are having sex at parties," she says.
Note the absence of parental influence in her wording. She does not know "why"
"I don't sit here as a parent and say he's perfect," she told Blatchford. "He's not. He's made mistakes. Tell me a teenager who hasn't. If we did something stupid when we were a kid, made out with some boy or something, the worst thing you had to worry about was, was your name going to be written in some stall?"
The mother's statement leaves little mystery as to the perpetrator's influence.
1. "sit" is body posture, indicating tension.
2. Note that "perfect" would be interesting to explore its meaning with her.
3. Note what she calls, in her personal, internal subjective dictionary as a "mistake" as minimizing language.
4. Note that the rape and suicide is compared to kissing with "made out" by the mother.
5. Note she compares the pictures of the rape with writing one's name on a wall.
In a heartbreaking victim impact statement delivered during his Thursday sentencing, Rehtaeh's mother Leah told the teen—now a man—how much she'd lost with her daughter's death, and chided him for not bothering to learn what a beautiful and generous person she was:
Please note that where the name is removed, the mother used it. This is a strong address and the repeated use of the name makes it sensitive. It would be interesting (and telling) to learn if she used his full name, or if she continued to repeat his full name.I know that Rehtaeh did nothing to deserve that type of treatment. I know she was not cruel or mean to you [name removed]. You probably knew nothing about her whatsoever. Did you know she loved to read, would drop everything to help an animal or friend in need? That she was bright and funny? Did you know she had two little sisters that she adored? Did you know that the day she was born she changed my life for the better? After she was born I spent the next seven years in university and she was my driving force. No, you would not know these things because you never took the time to view her as a person.That night Rehtaeh was viewed as an object, and instead of helping her you posed for a photo and shared it with others.
Note the inclusion of the word "animal" in her statement as possible leakage. "Animal" came before "friend" in order.
She read a list of goals that Rehtaeh had penned in a journal: learn to drive, make new friends, "plan for the rest of my life." She had also written, "I am very much looking forward to the rest of High School."
"She didn't get to see any of those goals listed and she never will," Leah added. "I'm not going to go on about all the struggles I now have to endure just to make it through the day. I will say that I always believed Rehtaeh would make an imprint on this world. I just never imagined it would be at such a young age and it would cost her her life."