Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, was found dead by her mother in the bathroom of their home in Nova Scotia shortly after the teen commited suicide.
The family of the girl said her suicide followed two years of bullying and depression after a photo allegedly showing her ber being raped by four boys went viral and spread through her school in Dartmouth.
Leah Parsons revealed to reporters that the attack which involved her daughter occurred in November 2011 when Rehtaeh was just 15. After drinking vodka with others at a friend’s house, Rehtaeh soon became heavily intoxicated.
“The group began drinking vodka straight. Rehtaeh didn’t remember all of it [but] she remembers a guy leading her up the stairs [and] guys taking turns on top of her.”
As The Telegraph informs, it was then that the boys took pictures of the attack and of her vomiting out the window.
Following the attack, the teen was severely bulled. According to Ms Parsons, Rehtaeh was repeatedly called a “slut” by pupils and often received text messages jokingly asking for sex.
Despite changing schools and moving to a different community, the girl still suffered from depression and was forced to spend almost six weeks in hospital as she became increasingly suicidal.
Rehtaeh hanged herself on Thursday and was taken off life support by her family on Sunday evening.
In a Facebook page dedicated to the memory of Rehtaeh, which has received support from over 10,000 people, Ms Parsons recalled how the attack had scarred her daughter.
“This day changed the lives of our family forever,” she wrote. “Rehtaeh was suddenly shunned by almost everyone she knew, the harassment was so bad she had to move out of her own community to try to start anew.”
“She acted on an impulse but I truly in my heart of hearts do not feel she meant to kill herself,” the woman added.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police finished a yearlong investigation of the sexual assault, but “there was insufficient evidence to lay charges.” A police spokesman revealed that authorities are now “investigating a sudden death involving a young person.”
In an interview on CBC Radio program “Maritime Noon,” the girl’s mother said that the family was “devastated” when they learned criminal charges would not be filed.
“[The police] said that they would go talk to them and that [the boys] realized what they did was wrong, but [there was] nothing they could do, criminally,” Parsons said. “It was a slap in the face.”
Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry said Tuesday that he hopes to meet with Parsons’ mother to “discuss her experience with the justice system.” Landry has been reviewing details of the case and consulting with officials, according to a statement.
“I know that law enforcement and the public prosecution service do their best, every day, to administer and enforce the law,” Landry said.
“I am committed to exploring the mechanisms that exist to review the actions of all relevant authorities to ensure the system is always working to the best of its ability, in pursuit of justice.”