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Don’t take advantage, take them home.” This is a quote from Rehtaeh Parson’s mother, the young woman whom I’ve blogged about before…she took her life after being gang raped and then bullied by her peers.

Dr. Phil was on when I turned on the TV this afternoon and it happened to be a Part 2 of a show he was doing about a case of a 16-year-old girl how claimed four of her classmates raped her.  They had one of the young men on the show defiant insisting she was lying.  I watched the show and even though they blurred out her face, I could hear in her voice and through the details of her story that she was victimized.

What struck me was when Dr. Phil asked the young man accused what he would do different if he had a ‘do over’ the young man said something to the effect of “I wouldn’t have lied to my parents about being at my friends house without their parents home.” or something lame like that.  Even Dr. Phil picked up on that and said, (paraphrased) “I’d like to hear from you that you wouldn’t lie, drink or have been at the party in the first place.”

When Rehtaeh’s mother spoke about the young man’s comment she said, “I would have liked to hear him say if he had to do over he would have done the right thing and taken her home.”

Dr. Phil “Football Star Accused:  Alleged Victim Speaks Out” In Part 2, Dr. Phil continues his exclusive interview with a 16-year-old girl who claims four classmates raped her while she was intoxicated. What does she recall from that night? And, why does she say her peers care more about the accused football players than they do her? Then, hear from Leah, who claims her 17-year-old daughter, Rehtaeh, took her own life after being raped and bullied. Plus, meet Alexis, who says she too was raped at 15 and “could’ve been Rehtaeh.” This program contains strong sexual content. Viewer discretion advised.

This is what struck me hard in the gut.  Why are these young men thinking it’s ‘okay’ to do whatever they want with a girl just because she is drinking?  Their (meaning both the young man and his parents) comment about the young woman making the accusations was that she was drinking and she put herself in that situation so it was her fault that all four men had sex with her.

Yes, both the men and the women should be making the RIGHT decision not to drink and not to put themselves in these situations but it never ever ever justifies the actions of one taking advantage of the other.

Often when I speak to mixed audiences of young men and women I offer one of my favorite quotes from Pope John Paul II:

“It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.”

Even when a woman is not respecting herself and especially if they are in a vulnerable position… it is the duty of a man to uphold her dignity.

If you’d like to know more about Rehtaeh’s story here is the memorial FaceBook page her mother set up.

Rehtaeh Parson’s Memorial Facebook page

To all the women out there, regardless of age, we need to embrace our dignity and self-respect.  When we choose to shame ourselves by the way we dress, how we act, or making unwise choices all these behaviors leave us open to danger.

Yes, we need MEN TO BE GOOD and to be MEN but we also need to be GOOD WOMEN.  When we respect ourselves it commands respect from others.

Blessings

Shannon

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