A new Charter for the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) was implemented this week to continue providing “timely, compassionate, and comprehensive support,” to Canadian soldiers affected by sexual misconduct.
“I am pleased to announce the implementation of the new Sexual Misconduct Response Centre Charter. It represents a significant milestone in further defining the framework for the Centre to further evolve its unique role of providing support to Canadian Armed Forces members affected by sexual misconduct,” said Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defence.
The new charter replaces the original interim mandate of the centre, which was established in 2015.
The Charter will promote a seamless continuum of care for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members from the time of first contact until they no longer require such support; is focused on a person-centred approach; and will establish and maintain internal and external partnerships to better support victims of sexual misconduct.
“My priority is to provide a seamless continuum of care to Canadian Armed Forces members who are affected by sexual misconduct from the time of first contact until such time as they decide they no longer need support,” stated Dr. Denise Preston, Executive Director, Sexual Misconduct Response Centre.
The SMRC operates under the authority of the Deputy Minister, independent from the chain of command. It was created in response to recommendations made by an External Review into sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the CAF and in conjunction with Operation HONOUR, to better support members who have been impacted by sexual misconduct.
“The Canadian Forces Military Police Group have long recognized the importance of a victim-centered approach to investigations with the engagement of Victim Services Coordinators employed throughout Canada. In keeping with Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s new Defence Policy, the Group and the SMRC are enhancing victim services within the Canadian Armed Forces with the introduction of additional Regional and National Victim Managers in the Group and the Major Crimes Unit of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service,” BGen. Rob Delaney, Canadian Armed Forces Provost Marshal and Commander of Canadian Armed Forces Military Police group.