MB Author Applauds Ability to Publish Rehtaeh Parsons’ name
ILE DES CHENES, Manitoba (December 17, 2014) – Marianne Curtis, author of Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors applauds today’s decision by Nova Scotia Attorney General and Minister of Justice that the media would not be prosecuted for publishing Rehtaeh Parsons name as long as it was used respectfully.
Last month, the Manitoba author released Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors, which consists of stories of bullying survivors from Canada, the US and UK. Despite the publication ban, Leah Parsons story appears in the publication. Rehtaeh Parsons’ case attained worldwide notoriety when she committed suicide after months of cyber-bullying.
After Rehtaeh’s death, her mother, Leah, turned to social media to tell her daughter’s story. The hacker collective Anonymous got involved and intense pressure from them, the public, and the provincial government prompted the police to re-open the case. New evidence turned up and was given to Halifax police, who laid charges against two boys: one with production and distribution of child pornography and one with distribution of child pornography. There is a statutory ban on the naming of victims in child pornography cases in Canada, yet the media continued to name Rehtaeh Parsons until April 2014, when Nova Scotia Provincial Court Judge Jamie Campbell ordered the ban.
“I was honoured that Leah trusted me with Rehtaeh’s story. Her story inspired this book, including its name. I was raped in school, and expelled 30 years ago. I connected with her when I realized that if social media had been available in 1984, I may have done the same thing,” stated Curtis. “I had to do something to honour her life, and we have all been through this in one way or another. It just affects us differently. When I shared this with people, the stories started coming in.”
“In the book, I hated the fact I had to change her name to “Heather” otherwise I could get fined or jailed. Her story matters, her story will change lives. But to do that, we need to be able to use her name. I am thrilled that I can now go back, and change her name to Rehtaeh, and celebrate the young woman she was,” Curtis added. “I have already made the amendments to this book.”
Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors is a collection of real stories, written by real people who have suffered at the hands of bullies. In each story, contributors dig deep into their own painful memories, to vulnerably expose their horrors with the hope that their survival will inspire others to fight. Along with real stories, Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors includes vital information that could help readers identify and stop bullying in their home or community.
What others are saying about Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors
“This is an excellent book which gives an insight into the lives of those who have lived with bullying. It is an honest, nitty gritty book full of stories of survivers. This book is at times hard to read because the stories are heartbreaking, but, when you know they are true stories; it really does make you think. This book should be read by teachers, school kids and parents.” – Julianna, Amazon Reviewer
“I’m so proud that this book is Canadian! While the resources and many of the stories included in this book are from all over North America and beyond, this book would help anyone dealing with bullying whether an adult or a child no matter where a person is from! Reading stories written by people who have survived bullying will lead to more and more people coming out with their personal story which is so empowering for them and can only be beneficial to battling the bullying epidemic that surrounds people of all ages. What an amazing compilation of stories, and while many of these stories are heartbreaking it is clear why each contributor is part of this book as a whole. – B. Howie, Amazon Reviewer
“The stories in this book are heartfelt and honest. The people who contributed share their stories with brutal honesty, but many also have that breath of hope. These people are hopeful that they can make a change and they are hopeful that they will overcome their traumatic experiences. There are resources in the back of the book – and more than just a list of phone numbers. There is information about bullying in the home, the school, and the workplace, how to identify it, how to report it, and who to turn to if you can’t cope with it. This is information that should be made available to every parent, teacher, counsellor, HR rep or union rep responsible for workplace harassment claims, teen, pre-teen,” Casia Schreyer, Amazon Review
Rae of Hope: Stories from Survivors was released worldwide as a paperback and e-book on Amazon by Emerald Publications. The updated version is already available online. It will also available in several stores locally, including McNally Robinson in Winnipeg. Copies can be ordered online through the author’s website and various online bookstores including Barnes and Noble and Apple.
A complimentary PDF EBOOK is available for review
About the Author
Marianne Curtis is a well respected newspaper journalist for the Dawson Trail Dispatch in southern Manitoba, Canada with nearly twenty years of media, publishing, and freelance writing experience. Her first book, a personal memoir called Finding Gloria hit the bestseller list at McNally Robinson Bookstores in Winnipeg, and on Amazon in Canada, United States and the United Kingdom. Curtis’s other published titles include: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, Brian’s Last Ride and A Discreet Betrayal.
In 2013, she received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault.
The author is available for public appearances, including (but not exclusive to) book clubs, libraries, media interviews and speaking engagements.
Marianne Curtis, author
Visit http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/276517/canadian-ban-on-printing-rehtaeh-parsons-name-extends-to-advertisements-family-finds/ for the full story about the ban.