Apr 30, 2015
By Bob Komsic
A review has found women in the Canadian Armed Forces suffer regularly from degrading remarks, sexual jokes and unwelcome touched, which leads to abuse in a number of situations.
The review was carried out by former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps.
It was based on interviews and discussions with hundreds of CAF members, of all ranks, located in various services across Canada.
One member is quoted as saying ”there is not a female who has not had a problem” since joining the Forces.
Deschamps found ”a large percentage” of case of sexual assault and harassment are not reported over fears of repercussion or that the complaints would not be treated confidentially.
Her report urges the CAF to acknowledge the systemic nature of the problem, find ways to improve the integration of women in the military and create an ”independent centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment” to oversee a new complaint process for inappropriate conduct.
The head of the Canadian Forces, General Tom Lawson, promises quick changes while vowing to enact a long-term strategy to address the issues raised in the report.