Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Canadian Military Sexual Misconduct Response Centre -- progress?

On February 1, 2016 the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) , General Jonathan Vance, personally issued a rather banal Progress Report On Addressing Inappropriate Sexual Behavior during a press conference in Ottawa. The Report coverts the period June through December 2015. The Report addresses, inter alia, the operation of the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre which was stood-up on September 1, 2015 inside National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.This set-up is very much contrary to the sage recommendation of retired Supreme Court Justice, Madam Marie Deschamps, who asked that the Centre be set 'outside the Canadian Forces' and be 'independent' so as to address the issue of under-reporting of sexual misconduct by victims who do not trust the military chain of command in such matters.

The Report noted that over the previous six months, the Centre was contacted by a total of 156 military members; half of whom being of the male gender. The Report also discloses that a total of 53 individuals contacted the Centre about a sexual offence and 32 others contacted the Centre about sexual harassment. The report hastens to state, however, that despite the fact that the issue of sexual harassment is of a “foundational nature, strangely, the Canadian military has been unable so far to develop a simple, broad definition of the expression "sexual harassment."

As currently set up, the Centre provides "initial support" to military members by either phone or email only. It is also only open on working days.

Read one of the several media reports in Canada’s national newspaper: The Globe and Mail at “Sexual Assault centre received dozen of complaints.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).