OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Totally inappropriate and disgusting.
That’s how government leaders in Ottawa are responding to a video, obtained by APTN News, appearing to show a Kelowna RCMP officer asking a possible victim of sexual assault if the teen was turned on during the attack.
“Were you at all turned on during this at all, even a little bit?” he says in part of the 2012 video. “Physically, you weren’t at all responsive to his advances, even maybe subconsciously?”
RELATED: ‘You just went along with it’: Kelowna Mountie appears to dismiss Indigenous girl’s sexual assault complaint
Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says she plans to raise the video with the Justice Minister.
“Totally inappropriate and I don’t know where people get that kind of right to re-victimize somebody. It’s disgusting,” she told reporters in Ottawa. “Judicial training is something that is becoming increasingly important as we go forward.”
At another part of the 2 hour long interview, the unidentified cop asks the victim to be more honest with him.
“I am being honest, I didn’t consent, but I didn’t say no,” replies the girl.
“So, you just went along with it,” responds the officer.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has also been quick to denounce tactics used in the video, which was recorded seven years ago but recently obtained by APTN.
“What was revealed in that video was absolutely abhorrent. The apparent attitudes and techniques that were on display in 2012 are profoundly outdated, offensive and wrong. The RCMP and all police forces must work continuously to conduct themselves appropriately.”
Goodale was responding to Conservative leader Andrew Scheer during Question Period on Wednesday in Ottawa.
“No survivor of sexual assault should ever fear that their case will not be taken seriously or that they will be re-victimized in the process.”
New training for RCMP officers continues to be a priority
Mounties say privacy restrictions and ongoing court proceedings are preventing them from commenting about this case, but add changes have been made over the past seven years to boost training and victim support
“New training for RCMP officers continues to be a priority. Training on myths surrounding sexual assault and consent law is already available to employees through the RCMP’s online learning portal. A course on interviewing witnesses and victims was recently updated. Cultural competency training, trauma-informed investigations training and an advanced course for sexual assault investigators are under development. We are developing this training with subject matter experts in psychology, advocacy, and sexual assault investigations,” says the statement.
“The RCMP is also establishing an external review model, similar to the Philadelphia Model, that can be adapted to fit the various municipal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions we police, while also adhering to the Federal Privacy Act. This includes developing national guidelines for the divisional committees’ terms of reference, mandate, composition, structure and procedures.”
It says it will provide more information on this external review model in the coming months, as it begins to be established in the provincial/territorial jurisdictions across Canada.