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article imageCanadian Military members confidentially report sexual assault

By Kavelle Christie     Dec 17, 2015 in World
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), has opened the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) to fight sexual assault within its ranks.
According to the newly-opened office, their mission is to "support CAF members affected by inappropriate sexual behaviour by helping them make informed choices on available options and provide resources to meet their individual needs."
The implementation comes on the long heels of sexual misconduct allegations by both men and women in the Canadian Military.
In a survey carried out by Statistics Canada from April to August 2013, one in 13 full-time female Canadian Forces members had been sexually assaulted, while approximately 0.2 percent of men surveyed said they’d been sexually assaulted. By extension, 0.8 percent or 500 men said they experienced unwanted sexual touching.
Fear has been one of the main reasons sexual assault has been underreported in the CAF.
The report, "External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces" published in March, states fear of "negative repercussions for career progression [...] not being believed, being stigmatized as weak, labeled as a trouble-maker, subjected to retaliation by peers and supervisors" are among the underlying reasons for victims' mistrust.
The center which was opened in September seeks to rectify the problem and will enable victims to report sexual assaults confidentially.
"Everyone working within the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre will protect the privacy of the information shared with them. All client information is confidential and strictly safeguarded among SMRC staff unless disclosure is required by law or at the request of the client," states the website regarding its confidentiality policy.
The office has already received 38 calls about sexual offenses while five criminal investigations are underway.
More about canadian armed, Sexual assault, Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, justin tru, Canada
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