Policy

New program to support personnel affected by sexual misconduct launched

The first phase of the new Response and Support Coordination Program was launched this week by the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC).

“It has always been a priority for the SMRC to provide the best possible support services to Canadian Armed Forces members who have been affected by sexual misconduct. This new program is consistent with best practices in the field of supporting individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct and is something that affected members have been asking for. I am pleased that SMRC is able to start offering this expanded service,” said Dr. Denise Preston, executive director, Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, Department of National Defence.

This new initiative is aimed at providing members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who have been impacted with sexual misconduct with an assigned and dedicated co-ordinator to offer on-going support and assistance as long as they require it.

The co-ordinators will provide members information, referrals, case co-ordination, advocacy support, assistance with workplace arrangements, and other support a member might require, according to a Department of National Defence press release.

Co-ordinators can also be asked to accompany members to certain appointments.

“For example, the co-ordinator could be present during the disclosure or report of an incident of sexual misconduct, attend administrative and legal proceedings, access services or programs, or attend a meeting to discuss workplace arrangements,” according to the DND press release.

The first phase of the Response and Support Coordination Program is intended to “address critical gaps” in the system.

Subsequent phases are expected to launch over the next two years.

CAF members, including those in supervisory positions, can contact the SMRC’s counsellors 24/7 at 1-844-750-1648 or by email DND.SMRC-CIIS.MDN@forces.gc.ca for confidential support, information, and guidance regarding sexual misconduct. Counsellors can facilitate referrals to the Military Liaison Team during business hours.

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MIshall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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