Amanda Todd’s mother considers it a victory that her daughter’s name can now be used in media coverage of her accused tormentor’s trial.
There is an automatic ban placed on the names of victims in cases involving child pornography, but it was lifted by a judge on Monday.
Carol Todd said her daughter’s name is important to the conversation about cyberbullying.
Amanda was just 15 in 2012, when she took her own life after online harassment. Before her death, she posted a YouTube video relating her torment from online bullying through a series of handwritten signs. The video has been viewed millions of times. A Youtube search using ‘Amanda Todd’ yields videos about bullying and tributes that have millions more viewers.
Todd, who lived in Port Coquitlam at the time of her death, attended school in Maple Ridge.
This June, Dutch man Aydin Coban will stand trial on charges of extortion, criminal harassment, possession of child pornography and communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence.
He was extradited to Canada, and first appeared in court on Dec. 8, 2020. He had been scheduled to appear in New Westminster Supreme Court in January, but cases were rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carol Todd said she had been sad and angry that Amanda’s name had been removed from coverage of Coban’s trial.
“With a ban, we can no longer talk about Amanda the way we have talked about Amanda – about her legacy and about education,” she said. “From a horrible story, it has done good for others.”
She didn’t want her daughter to be a nameless victim.
“It’s not just sharing the story of Amanda, it’s making sure there are policies in place, and that we protect kids today,” said Todd.
Todd approached the federal ombudsman for victims of crime, as she started to advocate for the ban to be lifted.
She also spoke to the family of Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old girl from Nova Scotia who died by suicide in 2014, after an explicit photo of her was circulated, and she faced cyberbullying. Her parents successfully fought to have the publication ban on her identity removed, after two men were charged in a child pornography case.
On Monday, Justice Martha Devlin granted the request by Todd and the media to lift the ban.
“It’s up to all of us to put Amanda back in the forefront,” said Todd.
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