Rachel Canning Claims Abuse and Is Disgraced by Media, Labeled Rebellious


It may very well be that New Jersey teen Rachel Canning is as spoiled and rebellious as she is being painted by the media. However, it may also turn out that Rachel’s accusations against her parents are true. If this turns out to be the case, what is perhaps most disturbing about Canning’s story is that it displays a serious problem running rampant in the way U.S. journalists depict young women. The media is constantly calling out teenagers as “rebellious” in lieu of taking a closer look at the realities they are living in. In cases where there are claims of abuse, the practice of the media labeling teens as “bratty” or “spoiled” is an absolute disgrace.  This is a dangerous narrative for society to write?

In the case of Rachel Canning and her parents, only a handful of details are known. Here is the way this story has been pieced together by dozens of news sources in the last two days: Rachel is a rebellious and spoiled teenager who is after her parents’ money. She refuses to live by her parents’ rules, which is unfortunate, because it is clear that they only want what is best for her. Her parents are heartbroken and puzzled by how their daughter sees her idealistic home as abusive in any way. Rachel bullies her sister, dates an unsuitable boy, and has spitefully decided to take her parents to court so they continue to provide for her even though she refuses to live by their reasonable rules. Given all of that, it’s no wonder that the media claims that the young girl is spoiled and has labeled her as just another troubled teenager who has brought disgrace upon her family. But what about the details that have been casually brushed under the rug?

Anyone that has been reading up on the case knows that the angle does not change much from site to site.  The story outlined above is the general depiction of Canning’s story. But what is not being said? Since the story about Canning first broke, there have been serious allegations, but those have been erroneously avoided by the media in favor of reinforcing the belief that teenagers are just irresponsible little people who constantly cause trouble. Though Canning has the help of legal counsel in this case, she has been verbally slaughtered by the media, and if the allegations against her parents are true, then a huge injustice has been done.

Numerous sources covering this story seem like they are presenting cut-and-dried facts, and according to many, this is just another case of an entitled teen. But there are available details that have been glossed over by several major news outlets. Here is another construct of the same story using only the details provided across the board from multiple sources: Rachel Canning is a hardworking teenager on the brink of adulthood. She has continually proven herself to be a good citizen in school by maintaining excellent grades and participating in extra-curricular activities. Unfortunately, Canning has shown some signs of distress within her home life. A teacher witnessed Canning’s mother making a harmful remark toward her daughter, and after hearing some recent allegations of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, Canning’s school has advised that the teen not return home. Canning is concerned about spending time with her father as he has behaved inappropriately towards her in a way that has made her uncomfortable and might be considered sexual.  Both parents deny any wrongdoing, claiming that their child is rebellious and a liar. Canning is just trying to get through high school so she can go to college.  The teen has already been accepted to several schools and received at least one solid scholarship.

It may be that the media made the right decision in their initial portrayal, and that Rachel Canning is just a bratty teen trying to collect money from her parents. But what if the media is wrong?  Canning’s allegations are serious, and should therefore be taken seriously. If the media is wrong this time, it means that not only has Canning been victimized by her parents, but her reputation has been unjustly fractured in a very public way. Regardless of the truth, this case easily falls into the very prominent category of victim-blaming, a disgraceful and common practice. Women are constantly being labeled as liars, and the majority of sources covering Canning’s story is yet another example. While the job of the media is to report the news, and sometimes that comes with opinions and different angles, it should always be considered that the subjects of these stories are human beings with lives and feelings. Unfortunately for women who are portrayed by news sources, the tendency is to take the angle of blame. If Rachel Canning is an abuse victim as she claims, and not a rebellious teen, the girl ought to receive dozens of apologies from news outlets worldwide.

Opinion by Bonnie Sludikoff


Daily Mail
Yahoo! News

24 Responses to "Rachel Canning Claims Abuse and Is Disgraced by Media, Labeled Rebellious"

  1. Jam Dat Hole   March 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I want to lick her cunt all the way to her tits!

  2. Sharon Hackett   March 7, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Where are the other sisters?? If there are allegations of sexual abuse shoulndnt there be a requests for counseling from her sisters. If Rachel was being abused then lets hear those reports and for the other sisters, lets put that on the table and save further problems in the future!!

  3. Punchslap05   March 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    To the author: “Only a handful of details is known” is utter crap written by someone too lazy to actually go look up facts. The abuse question was settled when her family was investigated by child protective services who found the claims UNFOUNDED and then told the parents they thought the girl was spoiled by them. The link has the actual child protective services documents along with most of the legal documents in the case. http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/rachel-canning.pdf
    And here is the obscene voicemail the girl left for her mother that earned the judges rebuke of her and the scorn of most people who heard of this case. http://imgur.com/a/YiNyB.

  4. Ruth   March 5, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I read somewhere that there was investigation conducted by child protective services which was prompted by the high school officials. The article reported that the conclusion of this investigation was that they found no evidence of Miss Canning’s allegations. Perhaps this is one of the reasons the media has portrayed Miss Canning the way the writer describes.

    The waste of money and time involved in this situation astounds me. Child services must follow up on these sorts of claims but there should be some penalties for wasting resources, both human and otherwise, when it is found to be a false claim. Add to this the waste of the court’s time and resources when the dockets are already grossly overloaded with legitimate cases.

    In any event, Miss Canning is 18 and therefore is eligible to vote, enter into marriage, enter in to other contracts without parental consent (which would be binding on her and not on her parents), be tried as an adult in any possible criminal action, etc, etc. Likewise, she can live where and how she deems appropriate provided she operates within the rules of Federal, State and local law. She, however, cannot expect someone else to fund her without limitation, be it parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, future bosses etc, etc.

    Finally, She is out from under the elder Canning roof and thus does not have to follow the house rules they have put in effect for their home. She is free to go make her own home for which she sets the rules. In order to achieve this, she can go to work at a job, go to school on scholarship or student loans, get married to someone who wants to support her or find some other legal means of supporting herself. She appears to be a healthy young woman with the benefit of a high level academic high school education.

    In my opinion, the media has portrayed this person appropriately!

  5. Charlotte   March 5, 2014 at 7:57 am

    OMG – apparently the author of this article doesn’t have kids or has never spent time around teenagers! What a joke of an article! Give me a break and look at the evidence in this case. Just listen to the voicemail she left for her mother. The kid has been bullying her sisters, disgracing her school, and in general being a bad seed. Just from the looks of her it appears she has serious psychological problems and that could be genetic and not have anything to do with her parents.

  6. thinkingcanada   March 5, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Honesatly being a parent today sucks. kids are taught to seek out the path of least resistance and to go belly up and cry or lawyer up when someone checks them. I hope she gets what she deserves from her little temper tantrum. “nothing and a time out” 18 is the new 3.

  7. only5cents   March 5, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I’m not in favor of parents being required to pay for their children’s college education. Having said that, it’s also clear to me that the public is filling in facts which may or may not be true. I don’t know if it’s accurate, but I read in another article that previous to Rachel moving out, her parents separated and reconciled again, and also that she was recently treated for an eating disorder. I have a daughter her age and another teenage son and I can tell you that the teenage years can be pretty tough for some kids. It sounds like this family could use some counseling. It doesn’t matter who pays for college, but her emotional health appears to be at stake.

  8. Antonia   March 5, 2014 at 1:12 am

    It is perfectly clear that Rachel Canning invented the tale of abuse to make herself more sympathetic to the judge who is presiding over her case. John Inglesino (who is permitting her to live in his house and paying for her legal costs) probably put this idea into her deceitful head! After all he IS a lawyer. The parents of this traitorous girl should cut her out of their lives for all time. Hopefully, the judge on April 22nd will denied her demand that her parents paid for her college costs and will throw her case out of court as it deserves.

    • only5cents   March 5, 2014 at 4:25 am

      On what are you basing your wild accusations… yeah, that’s what I thought.


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