Sexual Misconduct ResourceCentre

Sexual Misconduct Response Centre - Status Report - 1 January - 30 June, 2016

Executive Summary

The Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) was rapidly established in September 2015 as a key element of the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Operation HONOUR. The SMRC provides confidential supportive counselling, information and facilitated access to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members who have experienced or have been affected by inappropriate sexual behaviour. The SMRC reports to the Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defence and while separate from the CAF, the SMRC must be responsive to the needs of CAF members. This status report provides an update on the SMRC services to CAF members since its inception, its accomplishments from 1 January to 30 June 2016, and offers a glance on the way forward. In this reporting period, 262 individuals communicated with the SMRC, and of those, 204 identified as CAF members. Individuals affected by sexual misconduct may call or e-mail more than once before they can actually speak to the incident or its impact and the initial contact may lead to follow-up interactions. Each communication to and from the SMRC is captured as a contact, and there were a total of 306 contacts with these 204 CAF members. While SMRC’s mandate is focused on providing support to CAF members, all calls and e-mails are answered and individuals who are not military members are also given information on existing support for them.

During this period, the SMRC has defined its core service as supportive counselling which consists of a person-centered approach to create a safe and confidential option for individuals to speak to the issue, acknowledge their emotions and receive the support needed to make informed choices. Through the services of the SMRC, several CAF members were able to disclose an incident and seek support for the very first time. The Centre is unique in providing support with the option of anonymity, and without the requirement to report to the chain of command or file a formal complaint with the Military Police.

The SMRC also established internal partnerships with the Military Police, Health Services and Chaplaincy to address some of the barriers to CAF members seeking care, and facilitate the referral of members to services that meet individual needs. The establishment of a single point of contact for the SMRC and its members with a Military Police Liaison Officer (MPLO) has proven an effective means to ensure that members who wish to obtain more information about reporting processes can become well-informed before any formal investigation take place. In fact, from the 31 members who asked to speak with the MPLO in this reporting period, 18 decided to file an official complaint regarding an alleged sexual offence.

In recognition of the CAF’s complex array of services, expansive geography and multiple time zones, the Centre has expanded its operating hours from 7:00 to 20:00 Eastern Standard Time to increase access to members. As the Centre reaches maturity by July 2017, the remaining 11 months will be instrumental to solidify and expand its operational structure in consultation with the CAF. This foundational work is essential for the Centre to fulfill its role in meeting the support needs of CAF members affected by sexual misconduct, and in contributing to the Operation HONOUR initiative.

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