Author Topic: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF  (Read 455021 times)

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Offline MCG

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1175 on: October 24, 2017, 00:06:12 »
From the previously quoted article:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/military-sex-assault-conviction-rate-1.4360847
Quote
...

More often than not, the alleged offenders have pleaded to, or been found guilty of, the lesser charge of disgraceful conduct.

...

... between April 1, 2014, and March 31, 2017, there were 17 courts martial where the accused faced one or more charges of sexual assault.

Those resulted in four guilty verdicts, eight not guilty findings, four cases in which charges were stayed and one case that was withdrawn.

...
So, of the 8 not guilty findings, how many cases saw a guilty finding on a lesser included or alternative charge?  The first paragraph above would seem to imply at least half were lesser convictions, would it not?  Does any one have a link to the source document?

Also, because the military has various lesser charges unavailable to a civilian prosecutor, is it possible a military prosecutor will prush to trial with things a civilian would not because there is greater opportunity for something to stick?

Offline FJAG

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1176 on: October 24, 2017, 00:35:17 »
From the previously quoted article:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/military-sex-assault-conviction-rate-1.4360847So, of the 8 not guilty findings, how many cases saw a guilty finding on a lesser included or alternative charge?  The first paragraph above would seem to imply at least half were lesser convictions, would it not?  Does any one have a link to the source document?

Also, because the military has various lesser charges unavailable to a civilian prosecutor, is it possible a military prosecutor will prush to trial with things a civilian would not because there is greater opportunity for something to stick?

I don't have the source documents per se but you can get the actual cases through the Chief Military Judge's website. As an example the most recent case listed from Oct 2017 is a case of exactly this nature where the individual pleaded guilty to Misconduct and the sexual assault charge was stayed (it had to be because the charges were laid in the alternative). In that case the complainant voluntarily hugged the accused but he then put his hands on her buttocks and lifted her up a few inches for the hug. While she had consented to the hug she had not consented to the hands on the buttocks and the accused readily admitted his guilt both to the police and by pleading guilty:

https://decisia.jmc-cmj.forces.gc.ca/jmc-cmj/cm/en/item/231908/index.do

I'll leave it to you to look through the remaining cases for those three years. Most of them should have the decisions on line.

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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1177 on: October 24, 2017, 12:18:59 »
Quote from: putz
There is nothing worse than having to sit across from a victim FACE TO FACE and have to tell them that charges are not proceeding due to the relative low probability of conviction. 
I'd say being falsely accused and treated like you're guilty is worse.
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Offline exCAFguy

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1178 on: October 24, 2017, 13:12:30 »
Alcohol is not a defense.  Issue I take with that statement is a lot of these "alcohol consent" cases never even the inside of a court martial.  There is nothing worse than having to sit across from a victim FACE TO FACE and have to tell them that charges are not proceeding due to the relative low probability of conviction.  I was really hoping that when decision like that were being made it was the JAG that would have to tell the victim, in person, that fact.  Additionally, when charged and convicted under NDA 130 you face a criminal record.  Take that same charge and plead it to a conduct and nothing.  Take it civy side and plead the Sexual Assault to and Assault and Criminal Record.  Honestly you could of committed a sexual assault in the CAF and face not repercussions other than administrative.  For the argument that is enough than also consider that if I walked into Joe Civies workplace and arrested him his employer could fire him on the spot.  Sexual Assaults, should NOT ever see the light of a Court Martial UNLESS it was a deployed operation and NDA 130 is the only means of proceeding.

I'm surprised that no one has focused in on ONLY 17 in the that three year period seeing as how many were investigated and sent for RMP review for sexual assault.  I think a better gauge would be to find out how many were sent to JAG as a SA but came back recommending something else.

I apologize if I'm coming across as harsh but I am very passionate about Sexual Assault investigations.

It's easy to blame RMP etc. however the sad reality is until NIS admits they aren't as good as they think they are, and take steps to rectify deficiencies, files such as sex assaults etc. will constantly be plead down because it's the RMPs only option based on the quality of file presented to them.

Something is better than a withdrawal or acquittal......

Offline putz

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1179 on: October 24, 2017, 19:19:45 »
It's easy to blame RMP etc. however the sad reality is until NIS admits they aren't as good as they think they are, and take steps to rectify deficiencies, files such as sex assaults etc. will constantly be plead down because it's the RMPs only option based on the quality of file presented to them.

Something is better than a withdrawal or acquittal......

I would love to hear some specific examples of this. Namely if an RMP finds a fault in the investigation he will come back to the investigator and have that corrected

Offline exCAFguy

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1180 on: October 24, 2017, 19:33:56 »
I would love to hear some specific examples of this. Namely if an RMP finds a fault in the investigation he will come back to the investigator and have that corrected

Being that this is an open forum I'm not going to cite specific examples.....but being that you're a member of the branch......you've seen it like the rest of us.........whether you want to admit it or not

Offline FJAG

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1181 on: October 24, 2017, 21:29:56 »
I would love to hear some specific examples of this. Namely if an RMP finds a fault in the investigation he will come back to the investigator and have that corrected

I won't give you specific examples either but what I will do is refer you to DMP Policy Directive 001/00 dtaed 1 Mar 00 which specifies the relationship between DMP and the CFNIS:

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/about-policies-standards-legal/national-investigation-service-relationship.page

If anything this should at least give you an understanding that there is an interactive process of cooperation between prosecutors and the CFNIS at all stages of the process.

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Offline garb811

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1182 on: October 24, 2017, 22:17:17 »
I hate to say it but a big, big part of the problem is we are sending Sexual Assault charges to Courts Martial on cases that wouldn't even be investigated in the civilian world, let alone ever make it to trial.

The CM cited by FJAG is a perfect example of that phenomenon. 
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Offline QV

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1183 on: October 25, 2017, 00:17:14 »
And why is that garb?  Who does the file review and issues commands to the investigators?  When an investigator makes a determination based on available evidence and that decision is overturned, who does that and what is typically their training and experience level?


Offline FJAG

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1184 on: October 25, 2017, 01:17:03 »
And why is that garb?  Who does the file review and issues commands to the investigators?  When an investigator makes a determination based on available evidence and that decision is overturned, who does that and what is typically their training and experience level?

"garb?" ???

Apart from the prosecutors review of the CFNIS file and charges, there are reviews within the investigators chain of command and later within the prosecutor's chain of command.

I can't speak specifically for the CFNIS but my understanding is that these are senior MPs who have had the training and experience in the branch with these matters. There are supervisors within the service who mange matters. Link here:

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=the-canadian-forces-national-investigation-service/hnps1u2k

As far as prosecutors with CMPS are concerned, all are individuals who have gone through law school, articled with a law firm or government legal department and who have had specific training and experience in prosecutions. The senior prosecutor is a colonel who has a LCol as his deputy and about a dozen plus majors. One particular note is that there are around nine reserve legal officers many of whom are full time prosecutors with provincial attorneys general. There is ample experience within the office of DMP to handle complex prosecutions, advise the military police and chain of command and mentor newer prosecutors.

The following is a link to the CMPS's last Annual Report which will give you more answers about the process, statistics etc then you'll ever need to know:

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/about-reports-pubs-military-law-dmp-2016-17/index.page

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Offline Occam

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1185 on: October 25, 2017, 15:51:21 »
"garb?" ???

garb811, the poster he was replying to.

Offline garb811

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1186 on: October 25, 2017, 21:55:58 »
And why is that garb?  Who does the file review and issues commands to the investigators?  When an investigator makes a determination based on available evidence and that decision is overturned, who does that and what is typically their training and experience level?
"We" in this instance, is the CAF as a whole. 
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1187 on: October 25, 2017, 21:56:17 »
garb811, the poster he was replying to.

 :facepalm:   Thanks.

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Offline FJAG

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1188 on: October 28, 2017, 12:32:20 »
DND sex assault conviction rate lower than civilian courts. . .

Over the last three years, slightly less than one quarter of sexual assault trials prosecuted by the Canadian military justice system have resulted in a guilty verdict, according to statistics compiled by CBC News.
. . .
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/military-sex-assault-conviction-rate-1.4360847
. . .

New article about sexual assault conviction rates on the civilian side here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/10/27/statcan-majority-of-founded-sexual-assault-dont-end-in-conviction_a_23258106/?utm_hp_ref=ca-homepage

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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1189 on: October 28, 2017, 12:47:16 »
New article about sexual assault conviction rates on the civilian side here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/10/27/statcan-majority-of-founded-sexual-assault-dont-end-in-conviction_a_23258106/?utm_hp_ref=ca-homepage

 :cheers:

So the CAF's conviction rate is double that of the civilian sector? More and more sounding like a typical CBC military bashing article. I even noticed the author cherry picked the 2014-2015 year to make it sound like the civilian courts are way better, but the HuffPost article says over a similar timeline civilian courts are only 12%, where DND is 23%.

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1190 on: October 30, 2017, 17:36:27 »
And another one.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/sex-assault-charges-1.4378655
Quote
Decorated military officer accused of sex crimes in Quebec, New Brunswick
7 members of military have been charged in the last 30 days with sex-related offenses

By Murray Brewster, CBC News  Posted: Oct 30, 2017 2:46 PM ET| Last Updated: Oct 30, 2017 4:29 PM ET

A high-ranking officer in the Canadian military, decorated by the Governor General for combat action in Afghanistan, is facing two charges of sexual assault and one count of committing an indecent act in alleged incidents that took place in two provinces over nearly 10 years.

Col. Jean-François Duval, who is currently assigned to the Canadian Defence Academy in Kingston, Ont., was charged Monday by the criminal investigative branch of the military.

Duval is the seventh member of the military to be charged with sex-related offenses in the past 30 days as part of an intensifying crackdown on misconduct.

Duval was an artillery battery commander in Kandahar supporting the Royal 22e Regiment battle group between April and October of 2009.

He received Meritorious Service Medal in 2011. His "leadership and dedicated efforts" were praised as part of the citation.

The accusations against Duval involve five members of the forces and are alleged to have taken place at military bases in Valcartier, Que. and Gagetown, N.B.

The series of alleged incidents took place between January 2005 and December 2014.

In addition to the criminal charges, he is also accused of two counts of scandalous conduct, two counts of disgraceful conduct and three counts of prejudice to good order and discipline.

Those are administrative charges under the National Defence Act.

. . . . .  (more at link)


It irritates me seeing the use of "administrative charges under the National Defence Act" to describe the service offences that that I assume have been layed in addition to any NDA 130 charges.  This was recently used (also in a piece with Mr. Brewster's byline) by the ubiquitous former colonel well known for commenting to the CBC and it appears to have been taken up by Mr. Brewster as a means of insinuating that they mean nothing.  Maybe things have changed since I served, but "service offences" were not referred to as "administrative".  That tagline was most often used for actions that were totally outside the disciplinary process. 
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1191 on: October 30, 2017, 19:53:08 »
I think this quote is also relevant and worth noting.

Quote
On Thursday, Statistics Canada released a comprehensive survey of how the justice system deals with sex crimes.

It painted an even bleaker picture for sexual assault cases over a five-year period ending in 2014. During that time, civilian courts only managed a conviction rate of 12 per cent.

The director of military prosecution, Col. Bruce MacGregor, has said measuring the number of guilty and not guilty verdicts is not an appropriate measure of the effectiveness of a justice system.
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Offline JesseWZ

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1192 on: October 31, 2017, 09:28:15 »
It's easy to blame RMP etc. however the sad reality is until NIS admits they aren't as good as they think they are, and take steps to rectify deficiencies, files such as sex assaults etc. will constantly be plead down because it's the RMPs only option based on the quality of file presented to them.

Something is better than a withdrawal or acquittal......

Your post indicates you fundamentally misunderstand the relationship between the RMP and CFNIS, charge laying, the court martial system and how plea agreements work. We don't drop a file on the RMPs desk after months of work and then say, "alright, here it is then, good luck".

They are never surprised by a file appearing on their desk to the point they have to plead down a sex assault charge.

RMP is involved at all steps in the process, from the initial complaint, to charge laying, and ultimately, for preparing for court martial. Just like the Chain of Command, we don't lay charges without consulting the RMP. Doing so would be foolish. So if a sex assault charge is laid pursuant to s.130, its with the acknowledgement and agreement of the RMP and usually near the end of the investigation.

Many (especially historical) cases are difficult to prosecute due to memory fading over time and the loss of ability to collect relevant evidence (time delay). In that case, there are often agreements between RMP and defense for a plea to the lesser charge (ie disgraceful conduct) to avoid a lengthy or difficult trial. (This is called plea bargaining - since you've apparently never heard of it. It's a common practice.)

Has the CFNIS had challenges in the past? Abso-friggan-lutely. Will we face challenges in the future? Almost certainly, but I'm curious which particular deficiencies you believe we globally suffer from, given your vantage point outside the organization?

How should we investigate sexual assaults? Every member of the CFNIS has sexual assault investigator training, trauma informed interview training, forensic interviewing training, constant file/case management at least two levels up, consultation with RMP/Crown, etc. How should we do things differently?

 I eagerly await what changes you think we should make investigating sexual assaults, based on your experience investigating them (if you have any).

Finally, since you aren't a member of the CFNIS, and you haven't had the liberty to review the quality of files presented to the RMP from the CFNIS, it would seem then that you don't know what your talking about, and the information you've presented as fact is just rumour, speculation, or third hand information.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 10:55:27 by JesseWZ »
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1193 on: October 31, 2017, 21:37:07 »
Your post indicates you fundamentally misunderstand the relationship between the RMP and CFNIS, charge laying, the court martial system and how plea agreements work. We don't drop a file on the RMPs desk after months of work and then say, "alright, here it is then, good luck".

They are never surprised by a file appearing on their desk to the point they have to plead down a sex assault charge.

RMP is involved at all steps in the process, from the initial complaint, to charge laying, and ultimately, for preparing for court martial. Just like the Chain of Command, we don't lay charges without consulting the RMP. Doing so would be foolish. So if a sex assault charge is laid pursuant to s.130, its with the acknowledgement and agreement of the RMP and usually near the end of the investigation.

Many (especially historical) cases are difficult to prosecute due to memory fading over time and the loss of ability to collect relevant evidence (time delay). In that case, there are often agreements between RMP and defense for a plea to the lesser charge (ie disgraceful conduct) to avoid a lengthy or difficult trial. (This is called plea bargaining - since you've apparently never heard of it. It's a common practice.)

Has the CFNIS had challenges in the past? Abso-friggan-lutely. Will we face challenges in the future? Almost certainly, but I'm curious which particular deficiencies you believe we globally suffer from, given your vantage point outside the organization?

How should we investigate sexual assaults? Every member of the CFNIS has sexual assault investigator training, trauma informed interview training, forensic interviewing training, constant file/case management at least two levels up, consultation with RMP/Crown, etc. How should we do things differently?

 I eagerly await what changes you think we should make investigating sexual assaults, based on your experience investigating them (if you have any).

Finally, since you aren't a member of the CFNIS, and you haven't had the liberty to review the quality of files presented to the RMP from the CFNIS, it would seem then that you don't know what your talking about, and the information you've presented as fact is just rumour, speculation, or third hand information.

This is a very good post.

I'm not an MP but I can appreciate that being one and a member of the NIS is not easy.  You take a lot of unwarranted flak, you're totally under-resourced and the CAF expects an investigation of everything and anything where other police forces can be more selective.

It's a unique relationship, between the MPs and the rest of the CAF, and as much as it's a strength in some ways, it's also the biggest weakness because you are intimately connected to the organization you are tasked with policing and investigating. 


Offline Simian Turner

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1194 on: December 02, 2017, 10:58:54 »
I am not sure that the CDS was given good advice prior to making this statement, "I just signed off yesterday a Canadian Forces general order that will come out that will prohibit the release of a person who is suffering trauma as a result of harmful sexual behaviour until such time that they’ve had a chance to heal, which generally means that they’ve been through all of the administrative and legal judiciary proceedings that they need to."   

Trauma is not healed by administrative and judicial means.  There is no such things as "a chance to heal", the recovery process varies for each victim - some folks never recover fully from the trauma and those who do begin recovery do not do it through admin or legal means.

I don't think these statements are much better - "Well the joint suicide prevention strategy just came out. I think we’ve been doing a lot that’s already in it for a while. It’s hard to tell when you meet success. It’s hard to tell when you’ve prevented a suicide. All you see are the suicides that occur. I think we’re getting more and more people into mental health care. That’s important.

And I think that although Veterans Affairs will look after accounting for the veterans that commit suicide, inside the Canadian Forces I can’t say it’s a success at this juncture. We still have people commit suicide while in uniform. We want to prevent it. We want to get to zero."

Getting people into mental health is not as important as dealing with the issues that cause people to seek out mental health treatment.  Certainly not everyone that gets into "mental health care" is there because of suicidal ideation or intent.  The CAF will never meet it goals of no sexual assault and no suicides because neither are things that you can eliminate with policies and treatment.  Establishing a sense of trust between the soldier and his chain of command will improve the levels of success. In both areas people fear reprisal and punitive action being taken and irreparable stigmatization for speaking out and seeking assistance.

Lastly, this is a poor analogy - "we’ve had cases where people have been released before they’ve had the conditions set for them to actually heal, which is akin to releasing someone for medical reasons because a wound hasn’t healed yet and you haven’t done all the things you need to do with a wound to help it heal."

Suicidal thoughts/intent and sexual trauma are not wounds that you help heal with paper work, Cepacol and foot powder.  Returning people to their pre-enlistment wholeness is a complicated process and will seldom be accomplished when release is the ultimate outcome for CAF leadership. I am pretty sure that he made it clear in recent statements that broken people can/will have a place in the CAF.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 11:24:35 by Simian Turner »
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1195 on: December 02, 2017, 11:30:56 »
I am not sure that the CDS was given good advice prior to making this statement, "I just signed off yesterday a Canadian Forces general order that will come out that will prohibit the release of a person who is suffering trauma as a result of harmful sexual behaviour until such time that they’ve had a chance to heal, which generally means that they’ve been through all of the administrative and legal judiciary proceedings that they need to."   

I wonder how this compares with the policies for similar issues with non-CAF workplaces?

My guess is that we're being overly cautious as a result of being in the glare of the press, and the relative weakness of our most senior leadership, which is probably not a good thing.
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Offline Simian Turner

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1196 on: December 02, 2017, 11:37:14 »
I wonder how this compares with the policies for similar issues with non-CAF workplaces?

My guess is that we're being overly cautious as a result of being in the glare of the press, and the relative weakness of our most senior leadership, which is probably not a good thing.

I think we need to be overly cautious - when you ask someone to commit to unlimited liability they need to know you have their back when the system, their leaders or peers fail them.  As we so regularly point out, these conditions are not inherent in non-CAF workplaces.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1197 on: December 02, 2017, 12:02:39 »
I think we need to be overly cautious - when you ask someone to commit to unlimited liability they need to know you have their back when the system, their leaders or peers fail them.  As we so regularly point out, these conditions are not inherent in non-CAF workplaces.

There are hundred different reasons why it is so. 

1.  CAF working conditions are unique
2.  The environment is male dominated
3.  Many of our bases are often in remote locations without a whole lot of extra-curricular activities to keep people occupied
4.  We have a younger demographic
5.  We inculcate group-think for obvious reasons and this has unintended consequences
6.  We have a culture heavily influenced by the consumption of alcohol
7.  We have a culture of subservience
etc, etc, etc....

I rarely drink anymore (to excess) for a number of reasons, but when I lived in Petawawa, I can rarely think of a weekend I didn't spend with "the boys" getting blasted on Friday night.  We had a pretty cohesive team but a lot of that cohesion was built on a glass house of booze, testosterone and military training.  Go on exercise, workout a lot and hit the sauce on the Friday night at the mess with "the boys" was the garrison routine.

Maybe other units/organizations were different but this was pretty much the standard at the Infantry Battalion.  Our Regiment and the Armoured Corps were the two biggest practitioners of this lifestyle at the base, we also spent a lot of time hanging around with the Field Hospital/Ambulance for obvious reasons.  The troops were pretty much the same.

I don't know how you change this culture?  It's pretty much the glue that builds a war fighting unit. 

There are some creeps out there but the majority of our problems stem from poor decision-making under the influence of alcohol. 

Edit:

Combine this with young men fueled by testosterone, group think and under-developed prefrontal cortex's and you've got a nice recipe for irrational decision-making.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 12:17:30 by Humphrey Bogart »

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1198 on: December 02, 2017, 12:17:05 »
Quote from: Humphrey Bogart

I don't know how you change this culture? It's pretty much the glue that builds a war fighting unit.

I wouldn't want to.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF
« Reply #1199 on: December 02, 2017, 12:24:46 »
I wouldn't want to.

This is my point, if you change the culture, do you spoil the recipe that makes these organizations effective war machines?













As you can see, it's pretty much the universally accepted practice everywhere.