04.10.136:00 PM ET

‘Canada’s Steubenville’

A petition on Change.org demands answers about the rape that led to Rehtaeh Parsons’s suicide.

Rehtaeh Parsons was only 15 years old when four boys allegedly raped her at a friend’s home in Nova Scotia. Like the victim in the Steubenville case, her assailants photographed the attack and shared the pictures. Devastated, her family moved to Halifax to escape harassment by Parsons’s classmates, she became depressed, checked into a psychiatric hospital for a time, and last Thursday, at age 17, attempted suicide by hanging. She remained on life support until Sunday, then passed away. At the time of the investigation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not find sufficient evidence for prosecution, but a petition on Change.org has called for an independent inquiry by Nova Scotia’s Justice Minister Ross Landry. The appeal has gone viral, clocking in at over 35,000 signatures and less than 15,000 to go. “Everyone knows she was 15 when those photos were taken,” wrote the petition’s author, a friend of the family. “Everyone saw her being bullied and shamed at school. How can police say they didn't have the evidence they needed to pursue charges?”