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What I Wish I'd Known About Sexual Assault in the Military

Sub_Guy

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Jarnhamar said:
I would do anything in my power to convince, bribe or beg my daughters against joining the military.

Nearly everyone with a daughter says the same thing. So, if everyone with a daughter feels the same way, then why aren’t we doing something about it?

I suggested the military to my daughter, she has zero interest.
 

Remius

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If I had a daughter I would never discourage her from joining but she would damn well get a full int brief and provided with all the tools needed to prepare and protect herself.

Heck she’d still get that if she wasn’t joining the CAF.
 

stoker dave

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I work for a very large engineering and construction company.

At one of the large construction sites, about 20% of the people on site are female.

The guys know that anything inappropriate will not be tolerated.  The ladies know the guys have been told this.  When I am on site, I make sure that every one of the ladies knows that anything inappropriate will not be tolerated.  The ladies also know that they have 100% support from supervisors and managers if they speak up.  Every other senior person on site does the same. 

So far as I am aware, beyond some friendly jesting (on both sides) there have been no serious issues.  There is a job to be done and everyone just gets on with the work in what I would describe as a professional and serious way. 
 

mariomike

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AbdullahD said:
Whereas back in the civilian world, they feel they will get caught.

All they said was,

"You come from a society with many prejudices. We won't try to change your beliefs. But, if you treat anyone with disrespect, we will change your employment."

They did too.
 

Jarnhamar

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dapaterson said:
And you're not alone in that feeling.

So what can we do to make a CAF that would change your mind about that?

Get tougher on leadership that doesn't take this seriously enough when it's something significant.
Release CAF members when they physically or mentally hurt another member.

Make training interactive and not sit a battalion of 19 year olds infront of a computer screen to cheat on gba+ course.
 

Jarnhamar

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Dolphin_Hunter said:
Nearly everyone with a daughter says the same thing. So, if everyone with a daughter feels the same way, then why aren’t we doing something about it?

The CDS himself admitted that he can't fix our boot system. If he can't fix putting boots on soldiers feet how can we it?
 

OldSolduer

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Jarnhamar said:
The CDS himself admitted that he can't fix our boot system. If he can't fix putting boots on soldiers feet how can we it?

What is needed is an overall look and change to our legal industry, aka "justice" system.

 

stoker dave

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Jarnhamar said:
Release CAF members when they physically or mentally hurt another member.

And what about the supervisor (Officer / NCM) responsible for that "CAF member" who knows (or should know) that someone for whom they are responsible is physically or mentally hurting another member? 

If, for example, a Sgt / PO knew their job and career was on the line if one of their subordinates was found to be acting inappropriately, that might go some ways to addressing the problem. 
 

OldSolduer

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stoker dave said:
And what about the supervisor (Officer / NCM) responsible for that "CAF member" who knows (or should know) that someone for whom they are responsible is physically or mentally hurting another member? 

If, for example, a Sgt / PO knew their job and career was on the line if one of their subordinates was found to be acting inappropriately, that might go some ways to addressing the problem.

So what if the subordinate hurts/harms/acts inappropriately when on leave or off duty?

Is the immediate supervisor then held responsible? How far up the CoC do you go?

Many years ago we had a soldier who committed armed robbery twice at the same location. Was his section commander held responsible? No.

IF the immediate supervisor knew or ought to have known then yes, some action needs to be taken.
 

Sub_Guy

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Jarnhamar said:
The CDS himself admitted that he can't fix our boot system. If he can't fix putting boots on soldiers feet how can we it?

I’m sorry, but fixing the boot problem is very simple.  The fact our CDS says he can’t do it really has me questioning his abilities as a leader.

However, we can’t collectively fix the boot issue, but we can collectively fix this issue.  My  :2c:
 

daftandbarmy

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Hamish Seggie said:
Many years ago we had a soldier who committed armed robbery twice at the same location.

One of the additional charges should be 'displays a lack of imagination' :)
 

stoker dave

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There are indeed two sides to every coin:

https://www.trurodaily.com/news/regional/fondling-of-frigate-mates-aboard-hmcs-charlottetown-earns-navy-officer-a-reprimand-346626/

"A female navy officer who several times grabbed the genitals of male colleagues aboard HMCS Charlottetown was handed a severe reprimand and a $3,000 fine at a Halifax court martial Thursday."

Edit: In no way to do I condone any type of unwanted touching.  This behaviour - whether male or female - is entirely unacceptable.  I sincerely hope that somewhere in DND a means to reduce this problem is identified and successfully implemented. 
 

tomahawk6

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In the early 70's we saw a spike in male on male assaults. I think some guys used this to get thrown out of the Army. In those days we had some dratee's and wanted our badly. Today the Army will toss you pretty quick. But then it was very hard. The Army would prosecute these assault cases and then incarcerate them. Tim in jail doesnt count towards service commitment. If they did a year that time would be tacked on to your service extending your enlistment.
 

BeyondTheNow

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That was an incredibly impactful article. I'm glad it was written and the only way for any  type of unacceptable behaviour to stop is for more people to speak openly about their experiences without fear of reprisal. It takes an incredible amount of courage to speak up.

I personally wouldn't discourage anyone from joining CAF because they're concerned about things they've read and/or heard regarding sexual assault. There are a ton of pros and cons to the CAF environment in general and those vary greatly depending upon a large number of factors yet again. Unfortunately, there are morally-bankrupt people in all facets of life and CAF is no different. But for those reading from the outside, rest assured, there are a ton of good people here and they far out-number the bad.

As a sexual assault survivor (outside CAF), I was notably concerned about reports I'd read here and there regarding instances of sexual assault in the CAF before I joined. Going by the stats I'm aware of, we don't have the same level of instances as some other militaries, thankfully. (Granted, we have a much smaller military. It's important to weigh percentages against each other, rather than numbers in order to get a true picture of the level of severity.) Of course, those in the know can only go off of incidents that actually get reported.

While individual experiences will vary, I've seen and heard enough to know that there are certain areas and factors that seem to contribute more to episodes of varying levels of unwanted sexual behaviour towards another member, regardless of gender/sex, how they identify, rank, etc. than others. But as far as I'm concerned, it comes down to one issue and one only. CAF preaches integrity out the wazoo, but no one with an ounce of integrity treats another individual in that manner. It's always about power, domination, intimidation, selfishness, dehumanization, ego and/or any combination thereof. Unsurprisingly, this type of work attracts certain types of individuals and can also help cultivate a certain mindset. I personally don't know that CAF can substantially stomp out this behaviour altogether simply because of the nature of how CAF (and other organizations with similar styles of employment hierarchy) operates. So, as has been stated earlier, it's important that those who are in the position to do so not only support a member coming forward, but also be aware of how their own behaviour can be perceived and assist in disallowing their colleagues to act in such ways when they see it.




 

The Bread Guy

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BeyondTheNow said:
… there are a ton of good people here and they far out-number the bad ...
When rules are made based on the behaviour of the worst of the worst, it's easy to forget that - good reminder.
 

tomahawk6

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One of our serial abusers was a medic. Troops just wouldnt go to him if they had an issue. The other abusers seemed to be in Alpha company and the company was mocked if they marched by. Eventually the Army either kicked these folks out or were transferred.
 

The Bread Guy

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tomahawk6 said:
One of our serial abusers was a medic.  Troops just wouldnt go to him if they had an issue ...
Not only a colleague, but one mandated to help people - niiiiiiiiiiiiice … :(
 

tomahawk6

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We had some super medics as well that were liked and respected. The abuser in question was a Spec 5. The Army in its wisdom discontinued those specialist super grades. Spec 5's then became Sgt's. On the flip side of this coin we had a rash of soldiers sleeping with their fellow soldiers wives. It was very bad for morale and unit cohesion. The highest ranking  was an NCO who was charged and lost a stripe same rank as his former buddy who then took him to the woodshed.
 

Jarnhamar

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Dolphin_Hunter said:
I’m sorry, but fixing the boot problem is very simple.  The fact our CDS says he can’t do it really has me questioning his abilities as a leader.

However, we can’t collectively fix the boot issue, but we can collectively fix this issue.  My  :2c:

I honestly don't think we can using conventional means.

It's not just new-to-the-military troops doing this stuff. It's MWOs and LtCols too. Members with 20 years of being told this behavior (harassment and assault) is wrong, 20 years of seeing people charged for it and probably nearly as long charging people for it.

They do it anyways. I think the idea that if we all condemn it it will correct itself isn't the reality of what happens. We let toxic leaders and toxic cultures slip through the cracks because we're still check in the box oriented.

 
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