To Elle, aka Jane Smith:

I believe you. I support you. I’m proud of you for having the courage to speak against your abuser six years ago and the persistence you’re demonstrating today by calling out the RCMP officers and social workers who failed in their duty to protect you.

I too asked for help from the RCMP when I was a teenage girl in Kelowna. I too was dismissed and sexualized, so I just learned to live with violence in silence. I knew that abuse was better than what would’ve happened to me had I followed my brother into the care of the Ministry. I don’t need to know your name to appreciate the work you are doing.

To the West Kelowna and Kelowna RCMP, the assurance your officers are now required to watch “cultural awareness” videos to instruct them on how to be a human being brings no comfort.

So long as you refuse to confirm whether the officer in that interrogation room still wears a badge, non-white women and children will continue to cross the street when we see you because your presence fills us with fear.

You may feel pride when you put your clean uniform on in the morning, but so long as the most vulnerable members of this community are afraid to ask you for help, what you should feel is ashamed.

Amanda Poon

Kelowna

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