The Canadian navy has acquired greater than 700 sexual assault stories since 2016: information – Nationwide |

2021-07-16 19:56:23

There have been greater than 2,000 stories of sexual misconduct inside the Canadian navy since 2016, in response to information being up to date forward of an annual monitoring report this fall.

Practically one-third of these stories are for incidents of sexual assault, and consultants say the up to date information nonetheless represents an incomplete image of the extent of the scenario and makes it tough to attempt to decipher developments on what’s driving the numbers.

“The navy may argue that there’s a rise as a result of persons are changing into extra comfy coming ahead. However I might put an asterisk on that,” mentioned Charlotte Duval-Lantoine, a fellow with the Canadian International Affairs Institute specializing in poisonous management within the navy.

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“We don’t actually know whether or not or not it’s as a result of there are extra victims coming ahead [rather] than extra sexual assaults or cases of sexual violence than normal.”

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The Canadian Forces created a centralized system in 2018 for monitoring the variety of sexual misconduct stories it receives via the chain of command, courting again to 2016.

That system is known as OPHTAS — the Operation Honour Monitoring and Evaluation System — and the navy usually releases an annual report every year with the most recent updates to its information on stories acquired.

Nonetheless, that didn’t occur final 12 months due to delays from COVID-19.

International Information reached out to the Division of Nationwide Defence asking for the information collected thus far forward of a launch of a report with the 2020 and 2021 statistics anticipated this fall.

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That information exhibits that between April 1, 2016, and July 13, 2021, there have been 726 stories submitted via the navy chain of command about incidents of sexual assault, and greater than 2,000 stories of incidents of sexual misconduct, together with sexual assault.

The division had beforehand mentioned in March 2021 that it had acquired stories of 581 incidents of sexual assault between April 1, 2016, and March 9, 2021.

That implies an extra 145 incidents of sexual assault have been reported into the system between March 9, 2021, and July 13, 2021. Nonetheless, the system updates historic circumstances in order that enhance shouldn’t be essentially a sign that the incidents being reported occurred throughout that point interval.

The information additionally exhibits that stories of sexual assault and total sexual misconduct have been greater in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 than within the earlier years the place monitoring information is offered.

Determining why, although, is tough.

“It’s not essentially that numbers of offences are greater, however that the numbers being reported are greater prior to now two years,” mentioned Jessica Lamirande, spokesperson for the Division of Nationwide Defence.

“This might imply quite a few issues, together with that folks really feel extra comfy to come back ahead and report.”

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Information on the stories acquired via the system are usually revealed every fiscal 12 months and monitor the variety of incidents reported throughout that interval — although the incidents reported will be historic.

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There have additionally been modifications to who can report via the system: as of 2019, stories relating to civilians working for the Division of Nationwide Defence are additionally included within the system.

However it isn’t a full image of the extent of the issue, as navy officers acknowledged of their most up-to-date 2019 report on information submitted to the system.

The system “solely information incidents reported by or to the chain of command,” the report famous. Incidents disclosed to the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, nor does the OPHTAS information embrace when persons are cared for by both civilian health-care staff or the Canadian Forces Well being Providers.

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International Information reached out to the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre asking whether or not workers there had skilled a rise in calls for for his or her help providers throughout the pandemic.

The centre referred inquiries to the Division of Nationwide Defence.

“The variety of contacts made to the SRMC (from the 24/7 name line and by emails) has been growing yearly since we opened. Within the Spring of 2020, we acquired a major inflow of calls with the class-action settlement and following the sexual misconduct allegations in media stories,” mentioned Richard Séguin, a spokesperson with the division.

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“When it comes to outreach and presentation requests, there was no enhance throughout the interval of March 2020 to March 2021. Because of the COVID pandemic, we needed to cancel some scheduled appointments. Throughout the first few months, there was a major lower, once more almost certainly associated to COVID.”

He mentioned the centre is now again to being “absolutely operational.”

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The Canadian navy is grappling with what consultants name an institutional disaster within the wake of a number of allegations of sexual misconduct levied towards present and former senior leaders in current months.

International Information first reported on Feb. 2, 2021, that former chief of the defence workers Gen. Jonathan Vance is going through allegations of inappropriate behaviour from two feminine subordinates, which he denies.

Since then, his successor Adm. Artwork McDonald has stepped apart pending a navy police investigation.

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Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre has been appearing in his place since late February and mentioned in an interview with International Information Radio in Might it’s “very clear that there are features of our tradition that has not stored tempo with society.”

“We now have to view this present disaster as a possibility,” Eyre mentioned. “We can’t be defensive. We can’t relaxation on custom and ‘that is the way in which we’ve executed issues without end.’

“We now have to be open to new methods of doing enterprise and we completely have to vary.”

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Conservative defence critic James Bezan mentioned the up to date numbers increase regarding questions and that they spotlight the necessity for a decisive motion plan to repair the tradition of the navy.

He mentioned in addition they increase questions on whether or not the choice to delay releasing 2020 information was proper.

“It’s heartbreaking to listen to that the numbers are growing,” mentioned Bezan, who added it he was “extremely upset to seek out out the federal government wasn’t going to report this information.”

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The information is ready to be mirrored within the report this fall, however Bezan mentioned with a attainable federal election he fears there might be additional delays in getting the information and on the federal government’s guarantees to deal with the issue of sexual misconduct within the navy.

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