• VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/Getty

    Activism

    Canada's Missing Girls

    Canada's sex trafficking rings prey on native girls—and one non-profit group is helping survivors of the trade speak out and fight back. My Susan McClelland.

    On October 26 in Kansas City, the non-profit group Veronica’s Voice will be hosting a conference featuring the voices of sex trafficking survivors. Their call is to have more survivors engaged in combating the trade that sees more than a hundred thousand victims each year. In Manitoba, Canada, survivors have been at the table for nearly a decade now, helping implement some of the most progressive laws and programs.

    A crescent moon rises over the dusty streets of North Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. Debbie, a lanky six-foot blonde, makes her way through some of the alleys behind the old historic houses that once belonged to the city’s first homesteaders. Skirting garbage dumpsters, she eventually emerges in a vacant parking lot behind a Laundromat, where many of the area’s youth hang out. Known as the Pink, this is where gang members and their girls meet to arrange parties and to sell drugs.

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  • Peter Morrison/AP

    We Have a Winner

    Alice Munro Wins Literature Nobel

    Tells Canadian press the news is "quite wonderful."

    The Swedish Academy announced Thursday that Alice Munro, the Canadian author known for her short stories about life in southwestern Ontario, is the 2013 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The 82-year-old author told Canadian press that she was delighted at the news, but also "terribly suprised." "I never thought I would win. At this moment, I can't believe it," she said. "But it's quite wonderful." Munro has published 13 short-story collections, including her debut, Dance of the Happy Shades (1968), which won her first Governor award, and The Progress of Love, which won the award exactly three decades later. Her final story collection, she said, was 2012's Dear Life, and she announced in June that she had retired from writing.

    Read it at The Daily Beast
  • People hold photographs of 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons during a memorial vigil at Victoria Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia on April 11, 2013. (Paul Darrow/Reuters, via Corbis )

    GANG RAPE

    Rehtaeh Parsons’s Best Friend Speaks Out

    As Canadian police reopen her gang-rape case, Rehtaeh Parsons’s best friend, who was with her the night she tried to kill herself, tells Christine Pelisek about her friend’s trauma after the alleged crime.

    It was close to midnight on April 4 when Jenna Campbell went downstairs to her friend’s kitchen to get her a piece of pizza and a cup of coffee. Her friend, 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons, was arguing on the phone with her boyfriend and Campbell wanted to give her space. “It was one of those stupid little fights,” Campbell recalls.

    Campbell was used to her best friend’s sudden mood swings. Two years earlier, when Rehtaeh was just 15 years old, she told her mother that four teenage boys had raped her while she was drunk on vodka and passed her around at a small house party in November 2011. A photograph of the alleged assault was taken, and within a few days it had spread like wildfire through social media. Rehtaeh was subsequently called a “stupid slut” and ruthlessly bullied by classmates and peers in the Halifax, Nova Scotia, suburb of Cole Harbour, a small community mostly known for its hockey-star hero Sidney Crosby.

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  • Rehtaeh Parsons (via Facebook)

    Rape Vigilantes

    Anonymous to the Rescue

    After Rehtaeh Parsons was raped and cyberbullied, police dropped the case. Then she killed herself. Now Anonymous is demanding justice. Winston Ross talks to the hacker-in-chief.

    To the guys who allegedly raped 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons in Nova Scotia last year, photographed the crime, and spread those images to your buddies: Anonymous knows who you are.

    The hacker collective says it has confirmed the identities of at least two of the four young men accused of (but not charged with) raping Parsons in November 2011, an act that led to a brutal round of cyberbullying and slut shaming. Parsons hanged herself last Thursday, and her parents took her off life support Sunday.

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  • Nina Shannon, via Getty , Nina Shannon

    TRAFFICKING?

    Canadian Teens Accused of Pimping

    Girls are accused of luring other girls as young as 13 with the promise of friendship, then allegedly stripped them naked, took photos, and sent those pictures to johns.

    Three Canadian teenagers have been charged with allegedly trying to “pimp” out seven fellow teen girls as young as 13. Two 16-year-olds pleaded not guilty to three dozen charges Monday, and a 17-year-old girl has also been charged. The teenagers have been accused of meeting other teen girls through Facebook with the promise of friendship, and then the unsuspecting girls were allegedly forced to pose naked in heels and makeup for photos—and those pictures were sent to johns. The suspects are also accused of taking money that the johns paid the victims. Some of the victims also reported being forced to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol.

    In one of the most horrifying examples of their crimes, one 17-year-old girl said she met the suspects through Facebook, thinking she was meeting up with new friends, and was forced to pose in nude photos, had her clothes stolen, and then was picked up by a man who had a bikini fetish. The man dressed her up in a bikini, raped her—and then paid her $180, which the suspects then took from her. She was allegedly told she hadn’t earned enough and was sent off to another man, who then sent her home in a cab when she started crying. The girls are also accused of telling a 13-year-old that she would be coming over for a sleepover, and she returned home the next day in a mini trench coat and high-heel boots after allegedly being forced to pose for nude photos. The man she was sent to apparently refused to have sex with her when he realized she had been sent there against her will.

    Read it at Ottawa Citizen