Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sexual Assault Crisis Phone-in Reporting Centre for Canadian Forces personnel

The Ottawa Citizen reports that a call-centre whose job will be to provide "immediate safety in case of a crisis situation" for military personnel who have been sexually assaulted or harassed has been set-up in Ottawa.  It would be responsible for receiving reports of inappropriate sexual misconduct, as well as overseeing prevention, victim support and research. The Centre will operate during the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Victims will only be able to contact the Centre by phone using a 1-844 line. The Centre will be staffed with both defence employees and military personnel. A permanent centre will be created in 2017!

The creation of such a centre was recommended earlier this year in the scathing report on sexual misconduct in the Canadian Forces prepared by retired Madam Justice Marie Deschamps.  The former Supreme Court Justice had recommended that the centre be independent and outside the military."

There are currently 10 full-time employees working at the Centre as well as two Canadian Forces members “who are the military advisors for the centre and fulfil the role of military liaison for the organization.

It remains to be seen whether CF victims of sexual misconduct will place their trust into this military Centre.

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