The commander of the RCMP in Nova Scotia has issued an apology to a Parrsboro-area woman after a report that a Mountie left a voicemail message on her phone making light of her domestic assault complaint.
RCMP Chief Supt. Brian Brennan said Tuesday the comments were unprofessional and unacceptable.
"The RCMP has zero tolerance for this type of behaviour," Brennan said. "As the commanding officer, I was extremely disappointed."
Brennan said when he heard the comments, his thoughts immediately turned to victims of domestic violence.
"The comments on this recording in no way reflect the core values of the RCMP," he said. "It's not how I want our members to be talking in terms of victims and domestic violence."
CBC Nova Scotia posted on its website what it said was a message left on the woman's voice mail. In it, a man is heard saying, "So did she deserve to get hit?" before laughing.
Brennan said the woman's complaint about domestic abuse stemmed from an incident that occurred after she went to retrieve her cellphone from her partner in the Springhill area. He said she was worried he might make harassing phone calls to her friends and family because the two had a disagreement.
Brennan said the call that was recorded on the woman's voice mail came after her number was inadvertently dialled from a Mountie's phone while it was in his pocket.
"She wasn't home to answer but the voice mail picked up," Brennan said. "That's how the recording happened."
RCMP officers have met with the woman and offered an apology for what happened, he said. An internal investigation has been ordered.
The RCMP have also followed up on the woman's abuse complaint and have charged a man with assault, he added.