CAF invites regular force and reserve members to complete survey on sexual misconduct

Regular Force and Primary Reserve members are being invited to complete the 2018 Survey on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
Statistics Canada is conducting the survey between mid-September and mid-November to collect information about the prevalence and nature of inappropriate sexual behaviour within the military, the reporting of inappropriate sexual behaviour to authorities and military members’ perception of the’ (CAF) response to this issue.
Among its objectives, the survey will evaluate the frequency and nature of harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviours and sexual assault within the military; the reporting of harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour to authorities; military members’ perceptions of the CAF’s response to the issue of sexual misconduct; and CAF’s progress in addressing sexual misconduct in the ranks.
According to Stats Canada, the survey is vital in providing information that will be used to develop programs and services to address the issue better, but also determine what changes have occurred, the impact of initiatives to date, and valuable insights for course correction and focus of Operation Honour for the next two years.
A 2016 survey produced 43,000 responses from the Regular and Reserve Force members or just over half of the military. According to that survey, six per cent of women in the CAF said they had been sexually assaulted during the previous year. That number broke down to show 4.8 per cent in the regular forces and 8.2 per cent of female reservists stating they had been sexually assaulted in the previous year. The most common form of sexual assault was unwanted sexual touching, with 1.5 per cent of Regular Force members stating that they were victims. Other forms of sexual assault, sexual attacks and sexual activity to which the victim was unable to consent were less common.
In 2015, the Department of National Defence launched Operation Honour, an initiative to eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour in the military. It was a result of former Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps report on sexual misconduct within the military.
The information provided will be kept confidential.

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Sean Chase

Sean Chase is a newspaper journalist with 25 years experience. He also serves in the Canadian Armed Forces as a battery sergeant-major at 42nd Field Regiment in Pembroke, Ontario

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