Queen's University

Family takes 17 year old bullying victim off life support: Queen's University expert

2013-05-02

Queen’s University bullying expert Wendy Craig is available to comment on the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, the Nova Scotia teen that was allegedly gang-raped,  bullied and a photo of the incident was passed around. The 17 year old hanged herself last week and her family took her off life support Sunday.

“The case of Rehtaeh Parsons is a tragedy and my thoughts are with the family at this very difficult and challenging time,” says Dr. Craig, a professor of psychology and and scientific co-director of Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet). “Electronic bullying  is a significant problem.  In Canada about 20 percent of youth report being victimized online. The challenge of addressing electronic bullying is that online youth are often unsupervised and their interactions are not monitored closely by adults who could provide valuable guidance and feedback about the behaviour.  Second, when youth interact online they are more likely to be impulsive and say things or do things they do not do in a face-to-face context.  Finally, we spend a great deal of time as parents socializing our children and youth to be appropriate in their social interaction or to be safe.  We do not spend the same amount of time coaching and teaching them to behave ethically, responsibility, and safely online.”

Please note Dr. Craig is only available until noon today.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca or Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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