In 2012, 17-year-old Aden Withers reported a sexual assault to the Kelowna RCMP. Unfortunately, like many other women who have reported, she was subjected to a degrading and unreasonable line of questioning. In 2019, Withers filed a civil lawsuit against the detachment and the interrogating officer Kenneth Hall after the 2012 interrogation first obtained and aired by APTN News. In the audio video recording he can be heard asking her questions like, “were you turned on during this at all, even a little bit?” to where Withers responded no, as she did several times throughout the interview. He proceeds to say, “You understand that when a guy tries to have sex with a female and the female is completely unwilling, it is very difficult” and, “I mean, he’s taking your clothes off – how much of a fight did you put up?”
Withers was a ward of the state and was under the care of the ministry of Child and Family Development. She was charged with public mischief after the interrogation and was forced to apologize for wasting the officer’s time and resources. She had to write letters of apology to all those involved in the case, including the man who had raped her
Update January 2020:
Her case headed to mediation on January 27th 2020 and she said she finally felt believed. “We regret this incident and remain committed to improving how our employees respond to victims and investigate allegations of sexual assault,” said Staff-Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, senior media relations officer with the RCMP’s E Division. Withers hopes her win against the RCMP will help inspire other sexual assault survivors to fight back, and says she has no regrets about stepping forward with her story. “I went up against the system and I won”, Withers stated. She hopes to continue to advocate for Indigenous women and inspire them to know that they can win against these systems that hold so much power.