The Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) hosts first forum on sexual misconduct with Five Eyes partners.
The “Forum on Sexual Misconduct – A Five Eyes Perspective” took place on December 6 and 7, 2018. For the first time, representatives from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States gathered to develop a common understanding of what is essential to improve support to victims of sexual misconduct in their militaries and enhance prevention initiatives.
Over the course of the two-day forum, Dr. Denise Preston, executive director of the SMRC and the Director General of the Canadian Armed Forces Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct had the opportunity to exchange with several of their counterparts on the issue of sexual misconduct.
The two main themes of the forum were victim support services and initiatives, and prevention. Some topics discussed included issue-specific definitions, service delivery to unique populations and leadership needs for maintaining operational readiness, among others.
This unique gathering enabled frank discussions among international experts on topics such as best practices, service delivery to unique populations, and leaders’ needs to maintain operational readiness, among many others.
“The Forum on Sexual Misconduct: A Five Eyes Perspective brought together experts from our partner countries to engage on an issue that is relevant to all of us. I am very pleased with the discussions that took place in the last two days. We had the incredible opportunity to exchange best practices on how to effectively address sexual misconduct in our respective organizations, and how to best meet the needs of military members. I am looking forward to furthering our working relationships,” said Preston.
In addition to experts from partner militaries, the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) extended an invitation to members from external agencies such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Global Affairs Canada, and the International and Canadian Red Cross. This allowed them to share insight on best practices from organizations outside of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.
It also provided an opportunity for the DND/CAF to reaffirm its priority focus of ensuring military members are well-supported as outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s defence policy. This inaugural forum set the stage for future events as it is expected that a gathering of the Five Eyes partners to discuss the elimination of sexual misconduct will become an annual occurrence.