Now we have some hopeful news that perhaps some of those bullies have learned as well. Several students from the victim's Maple Ridge high school have gone through a restorative justice program after making inappropriate comments online.

They have since apologized to the victim, according to a school district spokesperson.

Rumours and innuendo have surrounded the victims of sexual assault for centuries. This case has shown how the Internet and social media provide an expanded platform for the rumour mongers. The old saying has it that a lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on. That is now literally true. Images of the attack spread at the speed of light and were accessible to anyone with a computer, anywhere.

By contrast, restorative justice forums are face-to-face, stripping away the anonymity and security that people feel when acting through the Internet. At its best, such a program can force young people to rethink their actions and forge goals to live better lives.

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