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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Kilted

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I had a similar occurrence brought to my attention many years ago. Two opposite gender peers were in an establishment following a Remembrance Day parade. The male got handsy. The female responded with at least two quick shots to the face, effectively delivered.
You have to be careful with that. At a pub that I used to work at a girl did that. The only problem was that she punched the wrong guy. He had to get surgery to fix the damage. She ended up getting sued for assault and battery. She was lucky that there were no criminal charges.

This could also lead to a discussion about what constitutes self defence.
 

YZT580

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After following this string I started to do a little research and came across the following statistics:

81% of American employees believed sexual harassment occurred in most workplaces across the US.

(I-sight)

54% of women experienced unwanted sexual advances according to a poll from October 2017.

50% of Americans stated that men getting away with committing sexual harassment or assault is a significant problem.

(Pew Social Trends)
According to a survey from 2018, 35% of Americans thought men getting away unpunished was a minor problem, while 14% believed sexual assault in the workplace wasn’t a problem at all. Thirty-four percent of Americans stated that accused men being fired without thorough investigation was a significant problem, while 26% thought the opposite.
27% of men and 59% of women experienced harassment at work.
(Pew Social Trends)
In a poll from October 2017, 54% of women reported experiencing sexual assault. While 30% of them said their colleague harassed them, 23% reported it was their supervisor. More than half of assaulted women reported harassment happened both in and outside the workplace.
In the US, 26% of workers in rural areas reported sexual harassment in 2018.
(Edison Research)
It seems like working in rural areas puts employees at a higher risk. According to the statistics about sexual harassment in the workplace from Edisonresearch’s report, the percentage of sexually harassed workers was the biggest in rural areas, compared to 18% in suburban and 21% in urban areas.
Only 25% of women could freely report harassment to their employers.
(Edison Research)
Women are significantly less likely to believe that their superiors handled the problem well. According to the 2018 report findings, 30% of women in the workforce and 53% of men thought their employers adequately dealt with the incident.

The point being that the CAF is neither unique nor is it likely to be at the top of the list of places of employment where harassment is a dominant problem. It is however an easy target for the press. Put it in perspective. Is there a problem? Yes. Are senior officers implicated? Again yes but firing them for alleged offenses is dead wrong. If the concept of innocent until proven guilty is ignored for fear of bad coverage we are on the slippery slope towards anarchy. Could we do better? Absolutely but a little less haste and a strict adherence to our judicial processes are an an absolute necessity. Also, a little attention to historical context is needed: not to lessen our compassion for those assaulted but we are in a different era from when many of these offenses occurred. Just think of comedy routines. Amos and Andy would never be allowed on TV now. Most of our cartoons are now taboo. Cowboys and Indian games are racist. Think about it.
 

Remius

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Instead of focusing on hunting people down. And we should if warranted of course. But maybe the CAF has to do a real introspection I to it’s culture and maybe look at doing away with those things that help enable these kinds of things.

alcohol seems to play a huge part in these sorts of things. Do away with CAF sanctioned events, mess functions, forced fun, soldier’s Christmas dinners etc etc, if co workers wnat to meet after work for beers sure. But let it be organic and natural like any other work place.

You would probably cut down on half of these things from happening just by doing away with that.
 

PuckChaser

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Clearly the phrases "due process" and "presumption of innocence" are unfamilliar to some people.
Or some folks feel that you cannot have due process, presumption of innocence along with taking every complaint seriously and actually listening to victims. Those ideas are not mutually exclusive, and unfortunately that's why it makes it so incredibly difficult to prosecute sexual assault cases. I'm sure Brihard can provide some direct context as a civilian LEO, but most articles I've read show a majority of sexual assaults occurring behind closed doors, with no witnesses and potentially with alcohol involved.

The he said/she said conundrum will never be resolved until we have some Minority Report type of system or we completely toss away section 11.d. of the Charter of Rights.
 

Kilted

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Instead of focusing on hunting people down. And we should if warranted of course. But maybe the CAF has to do a real introspection I to it’s culture and maybe look at doing away with those things that help enable these kinds of things.

alcohol seems to play a huge part in these sorts of things. Do away with CAF sanctioned events, mess functions, forced fun, soldier’s Christmas dinners etc etc, if co workers wnat to meet after work for beers sure. But let it be organic and natural like any other work place.

You would probably cut down on half of these things from happening just by doing away with that.
You would also do away with a lot of positive things as well. I know that messes aren't very popular in the regular force, but in the reserves unit cohesion is largely drawn from them. It's also a place where a lot of small issues can be dealt with before they become bigger (no, I'm not talking about the old fashion bully them untill they quit mentality).

If the troops are going to go out drinking after work, potentially in uniform, I rather them be in a controlled setting away from public view. The Troops will largely stand up for each other when their is an issue, preventing many of these things from happening in the first place.
 

Remius

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Almost every single case of sexual assault I’ve had to deal with or inappropriate behaviour has come from things like mess events and sanctioned parties.

i would argue the settings that are outside of public view is what helps enable these things. Pull the same stunt in a pub and you might charged by civilian authorities instead.

troops will also circle the wagons and keep quiet and refuse to talk when things happen.

it may be why we have an issue.
 

Remius

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You would also do away with a lot of positive things as well. I know that messes aren't very popular in the regular force, but in the reserves unit cohesion is largely drawn from them. It's also a place where a lot of small issues can be dealt with before they become bigger (no, I'm not talking about the old fashion bully them untill they quit mentality).

If the troops are going to go out drinking after work, potentially in uniform, I rather them be in a controlled setting away from public view. The Troops will largely stand up for each other when their is an issue, preventing many of these things from happening in the first place.
Your comment “If the troops are going out drinking after work, potentially in uniform I rather them be in a controlled setting away from public view.”

This comment alone is proving my point. The fact that we have to keep them out of public view is admitting we have a problem. Hiding it doesn’t solve the problem.
 

Kilted

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Almost every single case of sexual assault I’ve had to deal with or inappropriate behaviour has come from things like mess events and sanctioned parties.

i would argue the settings that are outside of public view is what helps enable these things. Pull the same stunt in a pub and you might charged by civilian authorities instead.

troops will also circle the wagons and keep quiet and refuse to talk when things happen.

it may be why we have an issue.
I think that would be part of the culture change they are talking about. At present there is still the stigma against "telling on each other." Regardless of what is done, the Troops will always find ways to get alcohol, it's better to control what we can.

That being said, I could see the current government doing this to make it look like they are doing something.
 

Kilted

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Your comment “If the troops are going out drinking after work, potentially in uniform I rather them be in a controlled setting away from public view.”

This comment alone is proving my point. The fact that we have to keep them out of public view is admitting we have a problem. Hiding it doesn’t solve the problem.
I was more concerned about saying something stupid or getting into a fight, not engage in sexual misconduct.
 

Remius

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I think that would be part of the culture change they are talking about. At present there is still the stigma against "telling on each other." Regardless of what is done, the Troops will always find ways to get alcohol, it's better to control what we can.

That being said, I could see the current government doing this to make it look like they are doing something.
Again, I would argue that with the amount of cases that stem from these events that we aren’t doing a good job of controlling the problem.
 

brihard

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I was more concerned about saying something stupid or getting into a fight, not engage in sexual misconduct.
That all falls under the general umbrella of ‘failing to keep their hands to themselves’. If you ccannot trust troops to avoid the one, likely you cannot trust them to avoid the other. Of course the rampant problem drinking among troops is another thing entirely... But not at all unrelated.
 

Kilted

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The fact that we have to that is cultural problem in and of itself.
What do you expect? This is a problem that militaries have had since the beginning of time.

Some Troops drink excessively, some are alcoholics. I would guess that the percentage of CAF members with drinking problems has probably decreased over the years, but it will be a long time before this is an issue.

Regardless of how well you recruit, you are always going to get those who get into fights, some of those people are attracted to careers in the military.

If you really want to solve this issue you would need to treat alcohol as if it was a controlled substance, meaning a zero tolerance policy, but we all know how well that has worked with other things.

We recruit people as young as 16, expect them to act like adults and then put individuals who are only slightly older then them in charge of them and expect them to teach those individuals how to act. With the way the courses are now we are potentially looking at 20-21 year old Sergeants in the Reserves.

Im not saying that we should increase the recuritment age, we wouldn't be able to fill the ranks if we did that, I think that we just need to be more realistic when looking at the issues.
 

mariomike

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This could also lead to a discussion about what constitutes self defence.
For reference to that discussion,

8 pages.
 

Brad Sallows

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"And that’s the old school, old guard way of handling everything and I’m glad to see the new, younger wave who has no patience for [liberal principles] in 2021 working to get past that mindset."
 

Remius

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Except we aren’t dealing with people who are conscripted or press ganged or the lowest classes of society like
What do you expect? This is a problem that militaries have had since the beginning of time.

Some Troops drink excessively, some are alcoholics. I would guess that the percentage of CAF members with drinking problems has probably decreased over the years, but it will be a long time before this is an issue.

Regardless of how well you recruit, you are always going to get those who get into fights, some of those people are attracted to careers in the military.

If you really want to solve this issue you would need to treat alcohol as if it was a controlled substance, meaning a zero tolerance policy, but we all know how well that has worked with other things.

We recruit people as young as 16, expect them to act like adults and then put individuals who are only slightly older then them in charge of them and expect them to teach those individuals how to act. With the way the courses are now we are potentially looking at 20-21 year old Sergeants in the Reserves.

Im not saying that we should increase the recuritment age, we wouldn't be able to fill the ranks if we did that, I think that we just need to be more realistic when looking at the issues.
Except we aren’t living in a by gone era where rape and fights are acceptable or normal. Most of our soldiers are the most educated people we’ve had in the history of warfare. You mention reserves. All of them are citizens most of the time and soldiers part of the time. Why would a zero tolerance on alcool in the workplace be an issue? As far as I know, the military is the only organisation that offers alcool as a reward and has alcool at the center of its social settings. Low prices, free issues and lots of it. Stemming from tradition from an era where alcohol was used as a means to control and compensate the men. We aren’t there anymore.

again, the fact that we have to hide our soldiers from the public isn’t a solution. And it should even be that way. We don’t want to unleash that on the public, sure. But all we are doing is unleashing that on our own in those “controlled” environments. And here we are. In 2021 with an institutional crisis.
 

OldSolduer

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And that’s the old school, old guard way of handling everything and I’m glad to see the new, younger wave who has no patience for these types of shenanigans in 2021 working to get past that mindset. Sure, slow it down, put on the brakes and drag everything out til the affected person, victim, grievor, or any other who loses faith and/or walks away from the situation because they have to move on with their lives and yet still are left to have to continue to dwell with unfavourable memories of their past. God love the journalists who’ve tackled this issue and done their homework. The CAF, once again, is slow to rise to the occasion and has already lost this battle in the eyes of the Canadian public(those who fund it) and a good lot of serving members I dare say.
Now you’re getting Personal. I’d advise you to stop resorting to veiled insults. I’ve been in this earth and served 38 years so have some respect.
 

Kilted

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Except we aren’t dealing with people who are conscripted or press ganged or the lowest classes of society like

Except we aren’t living in a by gone era where rape and fights are acceptable or normal. Most of our soldiers are the most educated people we’ve had in the history of warfare. You mention reserves. All of them are citizens most of the time and soldiers part of the time. Why would a zero tolerance on alcool in the workplace be an issue? As far as I know, the military is the only organisation that offers alcool as a reward and has alcool at the center of its social settings. Low prices, free issues and lots of it. Stemming from tradition from an era where alcohol was used as a means to control and compensate the men. We aren’t there anymore.

again, the fact that we have to hide our soldiers from the public isn’t a solution. And it should even be that way. We don’t want to unleash that on the public, sure. But all we are doing is unleashing that on our own in those “controlled” environments. And here we are. In 2021 with an institutional crisis.
It's true that times have changed, but we still recruit individuals that still act in the same way, or start to act in the same way based on the way our peers act. I'm not saying that we can't expect more from these people. We probably have one of the most educated armed forces in the world, but we also have some uneducated people and some pretty shady people. You miss understood my statement about zero tolerance. I was not referring to a zero-tolerance policy at work, I meant in general. This means if you are a CAF member, you don't; drink.

That being said, I think that there are some steps that we can take to try and improve overall professionalism in the CAF, part of it would involve treating Jr NCM as adults, although many repeatedly prove that they can't be trusted in this manner.
 

trigger324

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"And that’s the old school, old guard way of handling everything and I’m glad to see the new, younger wave who has no patience for [liberal principles] in 2021 working to get past that mindset."
Notes NI bubble ticked for Leading Change on recent PER.
 

The Bread Guy

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There’s something to that catchphrase or it wouldn’t be one.
"Kill 'em all - let God sort 'em out" has "something" to it as a catchphrase, too, but doesn't make for a good rule of engagement, either. We should be aiming for better, not easier.
 
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