Friday, July 31, 2015
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Canadian Forces can’t sweep sexual assaults under the carpet, again

The military brass cannot have been surprised. Or, if they were, they were negligent. Statistics must be reported up the chain. They must certainly have heard—or perhaps dealt with—cases that never faced a formal charge.

The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright
National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, right, immediately ordered an investigation into sexual assaults in the Forces. It could be said the internal review ordered by General Tom Lawson, Chief of Defence Staff, left, is a step in the right direction. But from years of experience with whistleblowers, Canadians for Accountability knows it likely isn’t. Such reviews are a standard organizational response to accusations of serious misconduct. They are intended as a whitewash from the start.

Two weeks ago, L’actualité, and its sister magazine, Maclean’s, broke a major story on sexual assault in the Canadian Armed Forces. The numbers were stunning: it estimated an average of five assaults every day. What was worse, the victims reported being intimidated into not making or dropping complaints, being harassed if they persisted, and assailants getting off scot-free. National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson immediately ordered an investigation. Senior officers claimed to be shocked by the report.

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Canadian Forces can’t sweep sexual assaults under the carpet, again

The military brass cannot have been surprised. Or, if they were, they were negligent. Statistics must be reported up the chain. They must certainly have heard—or perhaps dealt with—cases that never faced a formal charge.

The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright
National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, right, immediately ordered an investigation into sexual assaults in the Forces. It could be said the internal review ordered by General Tom Lawson, Chief of Defence Staff, left, is a step in the right direction. But from years of experience with whistleblowers, Canadians for Accountability knows it likely isn’t. Such reviews are a standard organizational response to accusations of serious misconduct. They are intended as a whitewash from the start.

Two weeks ago, L’actualité, and its sister magazine, Maclean’s, broke a major story on sexual assault in the Canadian Armed Forces. The numbers were stunning: it estimated an average of five assaults every day. What was worse, the victims reported being intimidated into not making or dropping complaints, being harassed if they persisted, and assailants getting off scot-free. National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson immediately ordered an investigation. Senior officers claimed to be shocked by the report.

  
Parliamentary Calendar
Wednesday, December 31, 1969
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
World Press Photo 15 exhibit premiere at the Canadian War Museum, July 22 July 24, 2015

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
A woman takes in the third prize for contemporary issues single photos by Italian photographer Fulvio Bugani. His series is called 'Waria: Being a Different Muslim.'
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Cees Cole, Netherlands ambassador to Canada.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Mark O’Neill, president and CEO at the Canadian War and History museums.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
World Press Photo representative Noortje Gorter.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Photographer Chris Roussakis, Hill Times reporter Rachel Aiello, photographer Cynthia Münster and Hill Times online editor Bea Vongdouangchanh.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
The music from these two string musicians flowed through the gallery all evening.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Jeanine DeVos taking in the exhibit.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Mark O’Neill, president and CEO at the Canadian War and History museums, with Silvie Morel.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Cynthia and Yves Bled.

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