Rehtaeh Parson's father speaks out at Ottawa event

Several recent cases of sexual assault in the Capital were fuel during a discussion on ending violence against women.

The event on Tuesday night at Ottawa City Hall was hosted by the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women.

Glen Canning was the key note speaker. He is the father of 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons who was taken off life support last year after a suicide attempt.

Her parents say it came after months of being bullied after a photo of her allegedly being sexual assaulted got around her school in Nova Scotia.

Speaking to CTV Ottawa at the event, Canning said it’s his life mission to end violence and sexual assault against women. He said, "rape isn't something or what women do. Rape is something that men do. The best thing we can do to stop rape and to stop violence against women is to educate young boys about it and to be good role models as grown men."

The event aimed at creating awareness and discussion about the topic of violence against women.

Canning says these discussions are needed and more men need to speak up about treating women with respect and to speak out against sexual violence.

"How would you have felt if that was your daughter? Or, your sister? And this was happening to her. Somebody loved that girl. Our family, we loved Rehtaeh to pieces. We all did. So, always put yourself in a victim's place, how would they feel?"

The discussion comes several weeks after police announced they're hunting for a suspected serial sexual predator in Ottawa who is still on the loose. He's linked with at least three cases of sexual assault.

Erin Leigh with the Coalition said, "violence against women isn't a women's issue it's everybody's issue. In order to end violence we need everybody in the community to play a role."

The event was held in Jean Pigott Place at City Hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday.

For more information or to get involved, click here.

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