The Year in Review

Operational activities

Statistical outcomes

The SMRC tracks in aggregate the contacts received in order to assess and communicate trends and issues. The implementation of an enhanced Case Management System in fiscal year 2016-2017 increased SMRC’s capacity to analyze and report on the data. That said given the relatively small sample size at this time, only descriptive statistics are represented in this report and inferences are made with caution.

Who is contacting us?

During the past fiscal year, a total of 410 individuals contacted the SMRC; 317 (77%) were serving CAF members and 93 (23%) were other individuals comprised of former CAF members, Department of National Defence (DND) civilian employees, Non-Public Funds (NPF) employees, and other civilians.

Given that individuals contacting the SMRC may choose to remain anonymous, a small number of individuals may be counted more than once in the reported statistics.

The Centre received a total of 625 contacts across 410 individuals indicating multiple contacts with some individuals. Figure 3 depicts the number of individuals and contacts.

While the SMRC mandate is to respond to harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour experienced by currently serving CAF members, almost 1/4 of contacts were from other clients, as described above. This speaks to the potential need for the SMRC to review its mandate and client base (see Looking Towards the Future).

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Figure 3: Number of individuals and contacts with the SMRC for fiscal year 2016-2017

Figure 3: Number of individuals and contacts with the SMRC for fiscal year 2016-2017

Contacts: An interaction between an individual and a SMRC counsellor.
Individuals: Persons who communicate with the SMRC by telephone or e-mail.

Description of Figure 3: Figure 3 is a three-part horizontal bar graph that depicts (1) the total number of contacts the SMRC received adjacent to the number of individuals who made the contacts, and the same (2), for CAF and (3), for Other.

Figure 4 depicts the profile of the 317 CAF members who self-identified when contacting the SMRC; 136 (43%) were CAF members who reported being directly affected by a particular situation. Of the 136, 100 were directly affected by harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour. In addition, 117 (37%) were members of the chain of command, and 31 (10%) were third party individuals.

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Figure 4: CAF client profile for fiscal year 2016-2017

Figure 4: CAF client profile for fiscal year 2016-2017

Description of Figure 4: Figure 4, the CAF Client Profile pie chart, shows the number of people who contacted the SMRC, also presented by percentage. There are seven categories: Affected Person (136 people / 43%), Chain of Command (117 people / 37%), Third Party (31 people / 10%), Other CAF (10 people / 3%), Bystander (9 people / 3%), Family Member (8 people / 2%), and Alleged Perpetrator (6 people / 2%).

Affected Person - Individual directly affected by a particular situation

Chain of Command - Individual in a position of responsibility for subordinates/ represents the chain of command

Bystander - Individual physically present or overheard the concerning situation

Third Party - Individual does not have first-hand knowledge but knows of a situation

Family Member - Individual related to the affected person

Alleged Perpetrator - Individual accused of harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour

Other - Individual not fitting any previous category

Figure 5 depicts the profile of the 93 other individuals; 44 (47%) reported being directly affected by a particular situation (ex: former members, DND employees), 29 (31%) were third party, and 11 (12%) were other.

Figure 5: Other client profile for fiscal year 2016-2017

Description of Figure 5: Figure 5, the Other CAF Client Profile pie chart, shows the breakdown of other client who contacted the SMRC, by percentage. There are five categories: Affected Person (47%), Third Party (31%), Other (12%), Family Member (8%), and Bystander (2%).

Figure 6 depicts the rank of CAF members who self-identified when they contacted the SMRC. As indicated, Junior and Senior Non-Commissioned Members represented 48% (47 individuals) of those who contacted the SMRC, with Junior Officers representing 13% (13 individuals). 36% (35 individuals) did not identify their rank.

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Figure 6: Rank of CAF members who contacted the SMRC fiscal year 2016-2017

Figure 6: Rank of CAF members who contacted the SMRC fiscal year 2016-2017

Description of Figure 6: Figure 6, a pie chart, shows the rank of CAF members who contacted the SMRC, by percentage. There are five categories: Junior Non-Commissioned Members (39%), Unknown (36%), Junior Officers (13%), Senior Non-Commissioned Members & CWO (10%), and Senior Officers (2%).

Figure 6 depicts the rank of CAF members who self-identified when they contacted the SMRC. As indicated, Junior and Senior Non-Commissioned Members represented 48% (47 individuals) of those who contacted the SMRC, with Junior Officers representing 13% (13 individuals). 36% (35 individuals) did not identify their rank.

Figure 7 indicates the gender distribution of the 317 CAF Members who self-identified when they contacted the SMRC; 171 (54%) of all CAF individuals were male and 144 (45%) were female. Of the 100 individuals directly affected by harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour 78% were female and 22% were male.

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Figure 7: Gender distribution of CAF members contacting the SMRC for fiscal year 2016- 2017

Figure 7: Gender distribution of CAF members contacting the SMRC for fiscal year 2016- 2017

Description of Figure 7: Figure 7, contains two vertical two-bar graphs that illustrate the Gender Distribution of CAF members who contacted the SMRC, by percentage. Of 171 contacts, 54% were male of whom 22% were directly affected; 45% were female of whom 78% were directly affected; while 1% remains unknown.

What are they calling about?

Figure 8 depicts the reasons why individuals contacted the SMRC. Of the 481 interactions with CAF Members, there were 336 overall reasons for contacts. Of those, 86 (26%) were for support related to an incident of Sexual Assault,  74  (22%)  to  Inappropriate  Sexual Behaviour and 65 (19%) to Sexual Harassment (see Glossary of Terms for definitions used by the SMRC).

The trend is similar for other clients; of the 144 interactions with other clients, there were 102 overall reasons for contacts. Of those, 32 (31%) were for support related to an incident of Sexual Assault and 19 (19%) to Sexual Harassment.

A significant number of contacts were a first step in gathering information. These calls sometimes resulted in follow-up contacts from individuals directly affected as well as members of the chain of command.

Members of the chain of command represented 37% of individuals contacting the SMRC. They sought information on how best to support their members, to confirm their approach or seek guidance from the Military Liaison team.

Per Figure 8, a number of contacts were related to Abuse of Authority, other Sexual Offences, or were considered outside the SMRC’s mandate in that they may have involved issues related to non-sexual misconduct or civilian issues unrelated to the CAF. With these contacts, civilian and CAF options (pertinent to the situation) were provided to the clients to address their various areas of enquiry.

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Figure 8: Reasons individuals contacted the SMRC in fiscal year 2016-2017

Figure 8: Reasons individuals contacted the SMRC in fiscal year 2016-2017

Description of Figure 8: Figure 8, a horizontal bar graph, displays the number of calls received from CAF and Other for seven reasons.

Service to clients who have previously reported their experiences

Of the 317 CAF members who contacted the SMRC, 100 (32%) individuals indicated that the incident had been reported previously. Of the 93 other clients, 27 (29%) individuals indicated they had previously reported their experience of harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour.

These statistics demonstrate that the SMRC is not only a service that helps break the barriers on reporting mechanisms, but also serves to provide support to individuals after they have reported.

What are the effects of cooperation with the military liaison team?

Conceived originally as advisors to the SMRC, the Military Liaison (ML) team role has evolved. The three member team, which consists of a military police liaison officer (MPLO), a CAF special advisor (SA) and a liaison officer, has become an integral part of the SMRC service delivery model responding directly to affected members and the chain of command when such contacts are requested. Of the 317 CAF members who contacted the SMRC, 78 (25%) sought contact with the MPLO and 23 (7%) with the CAF SA as depicted in Figure 9 below.

Also included in Figure 9 are the number of direct contacts the MPLO and SA have received apart from those facilitated by the SMRC counsellors. As reported by the ML team, the majority of these direct calls; 5 to the SA and 25 to the MPLO, were as a result of word-of- mouth from affected persons.

The evolution of the role of the ML team has been driven by a demand for greater understanding and awareness of harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour. Members of the chain of command and CAF members have sought information from the ML team pertaining to one of four categories: systemic, procedural, Operation HONOUR or criminal issues. Mechanisms to inform the CAF of the information being sought are in the development process.

One-third of CAF clients took the step to discuss ramifications of harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour with the ML team. The importance of this cannot be overstated. CAF members, through discussion with and by receiving support from the SMRC Counsellors, are choosing to seek guidance from and have the opportunity to report sexual misconduct through the partnership with the ML team.

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Figure 9: Individuals accessing the Military Liaison team for fiscal year 2016-2017

Figure 9: Individuals accessing the Military Liaison team for fiscal year 2016-2017

Description of Figure 9: Figure 9 contains two three-bar vertical graphs. A “To SA” graph shows the number of direct contacts received by the SA (CAF Special Advisor) of which 3 were live transfers, 20 were for facilitated access, and 5 were direct contacts. A “To MPLO” graph on the right shows the number of direct contacts received by the MPLO (Military Police Liaison Officer) of which 45 were live transfers, 33 were facilitated access, and 25 were direct contacts.

While this report covers a 12-month reporting period, the use of the CAF SA began in August 2016; 4 months into the fiscal year.

Live Transfers: When an SMRC Counsellor successfully and immediately connects an individual with the SA/ MPLO

Facilitated Access: When an SMRC Counsellor provides the SA/MPLO contact information to the individual or the individual’s contact information to the SA/MPLO

Direct Contacts: Individuals who contact the SA/MPLO directly

Developments at SMRC

In fiscal year 2016-2017, the SMRC made several advances in an effort to better meet client needs. These included strengthening tracking and analytical capabilities through the development and implementation of a comprehensive Case Management System, expanding the hours of operation to meet the needs of CAF members posted across Canada, moving premises, gearing up for the provision of services 24/7, stabilizing the organization through a number of indeterminate appointments, as well as the development of standard training and orientation processes for new counsellors. Lastly, a way forward was determined regarding the development of a sexual harassment subject matter capability.

Strengthening analytical capacity – the Case Management System (CMS)

A new CMS was developed and implemented in May 2016. The CMS was established first and foremost to ensure continuity of service to CAF members by the SMRC. Each interaction with a client is entered into the CMS by Counsellors, in a standardized format. Quality Assurance is completed to ensure the integrity and consistency of the information recorded. The CMS is also used to gather and analyze trends and issues that are reflected through the contacts received. Statistics are generated as needed and on a monthly basis in order to inform the CAF in aggregate of these issues and trends. The CMS system has undergone several upgrades to improve its capacity to serve analytical purposes.

In recognition of the SMRC team’s initiative to enhance the capacity, capability and effectiveness of the CMS, in September 2016, the Centre was awarded the NOVA Award for excellence in technical and  administrative performance.

Expanding hours

In May 2016 the SMRC expanded hours of operation from 07h00-17h00  to  07h00- 20h00, Monday-Friday. The intent was to provide CAF members across Canada access to a Counsellor during their business day regardless of their location. During silent hours (weeknights 20h00-07h00, weekends and statutory holidays), callers were invited to leave a voicemail with the promise of a return call within one business day. This standard was consistently met.

New premises

In August 2016 the SMRC moved from its start-up premises to a larger space in order to accommodate a growing team. The new space provides a protected corridor for the Response and Support team that is separated from the executive, public affairs and military liaison team. The environment allows for absolute confidentiality as Counselling staff speak with callers and provide services by email. Each Counsellor has a private office space.

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Gearing up for 24/7 services

A priority for the SMRC in 2016-2017 was preparing to launch its services on a 24/7 basis. An operational model was developed that met the needs of serving CAF members as well as the conditions of employment of SMRC staff. As a result of this planned expansion, the SMRC hired more Counsellors to cover the expanded hours. In addition, various technological solutions were considered to ensure a seamless service. Efforts to achieve a final operating model continue as progress is made towards offering comprehensive 24/7 services. This capacity is anticipated to be operational during the summer of 2017.

Stabilizing the organization

In fiscal year 2016-2017, the SMRC placed considerable effort on human resource management. As a result of being stood up quickly, resources were borrowed from other organizations or were temporary in  nature. Following this rapid launch an organizational structure was established, positions were classified and permanent staffing has taken place.

Mandatory training and professional development for counsellors

All Counsellors have a university degree related to social work, mental health or counselling services. The Senior Counsellors are all Master of Social Work graduates with membership in a governing body. Beyond their academic credentials, standardized training was implemented to ensure Counsellors had consistent orientation to the SMRC. Each Counsellor was provided with the following training: Applied Suicide Intervention  Skills  Training  (ASIST),  Men & Healing, Case Management System Training and a standardized orientation to the SMRC and its services. In addition, at present most of the counsellors have experience working with CAF members and the ML team is key to advising the counsellors on matters of military process and culture.

The SMRC also put emphasis on the professional development of its Counsellors in the past year. Throughout this time Counsellors engaged in many relevant training activities and webinars to enhance their supportive counselling skills and their knowledge of the effects of harmful inappropriate sexual behaviors to better support members accessing the SMRC.

Harassment subject matter expert

Per the SMRC Status Report to the Deputy Minister of National Defence (1 January-30 June 2016)1 , the SMRC has worked in collaboration with the CAF to define and develop the concept of a dedicated national subject matter expert for Sexual Harassment.

The CAF is implementing the Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management (IC2M) program in order to assist CAF members and the chain of command in submitting, tracking and resolving complaints. This combines Alternative Dispute Resolution, the grievance, harassment and human rights complaint processes2.

Given this new program, discussions are underway to determine whether the subject matter expert capability would best reside within IC2M.

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Strategic activities

Keeping the CAF informed - Engagements with CAF Leadership

Given that the SMRC’s mandate is to support CAF members who have experienced or been affected by harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour, it is essential that the SMRC is aligned with CAF expectations and that it communicates regularly with key stakeholders.

Monthly Reports

The SMRC sends monthly reports to the DM and to the CAF leadership on the numbers of CAF members served and the nature of the contacts that are received. This information is vital to the CAF in tracking progress, trends, issues and developments in Operation HONOUR.

Engaging canadian forces personnel management committee (CFPMC)

This fiscal year, SMRC started briefing the Canadian Armed Forces Personnel Management Committee   on activities and plans of the SMRC as well as on systemic issues emerging from the data.

This ensures that the various CAF environments are aware of the evolution of the SMRC and can provide advice as various services are developed. For example, in January 2017, the SMRC presented its approach to extend its hours to 24/7 including information on the counsellors to be hired, the technology to be implemented, and the intent to conduct 6 and 12 month post- implementation assessments. The Committee endorsed these plans.

CDS operations brief

The Executive Director presented an overview of aggregated information on the calls and contacts that the SMRC has received at a CDS Operations brief. The SMRC received positive feedback on the importance of the role of the SMRC in providing a confidential service to CAF members impacted by harmful and inappropriate sexual behavior, and to the chain of command.

Working with the CAF on improving services to members

The SMRC and the CSRT-SM collaborate on a number of initiatives. Although both organizations fulfil different roles and have different responsibilities and mandates as they relate to Operation HONOUR, a deliberate cycle of feedback between the SMRC and CSRT-SM was created to ensure a shared strategic focus. Both organizations require input from the other in order to effectively deliver on their respective mandates.During the past fiscal year the SMRC has been working with CSRT-SM on the development of enhanced Victim Support Services  including peer support, expanded options for reporting, and victim liaison assistance3.

Partnerships

The SMRC works closely with DND and CAF partners and stakeholders to reduce barriers and, with the member’s consent, facilitate access to services that meet individual needs. Service protocols between the Chaplaincy Branch, Canadian Forces Health Services, Canadian Forces National Investigation Services and IC2M have been developed. These protocols allow SMRC staff to be able to anonymously facilitate access to a single point of contact, such as the MPLO or SA. This has proven to be an effective means by which members can obtain further information regarding reporting or investigation processes or administrative processes without triggering an investigation. Despite these improvements some members, as a result of barriers previously described, may be unwilling or unable to reach out to the existing available services. They may require several contacts with SMRC Counsellors before they feel comfortable enough to take the next steps. Refining and expanding the network of civilian partners and stakeholders agencies is equally important.

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