Of the 317 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members who contacted the Sexual Misconduct Report Centre (SMRC) in the last year, 100 were directly affected by harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour, according to an annual report released by the SMRC Tuesday.
The report goes on to state that 117 members were of the chain of command and 31 were third party individuals.
The report released on Tuesday is the first annual report for the 2016-2017 year and takes a closer look at the services delivered by the SMRC.
In the last year, a total of 410 individuals contacted the SMRC, which was established in 2015 to support CAF members who have experienced or been affected by harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Out of this number, 77 per cent were serving CAF members, and 23 per cent were other individuals including veterans, Department of National Defence civilian employees Non-Public Funds (NPF) employees, and other civilians.
Additionally, 54 per cent of all CAF individuals who contacted the Centre were male while 45 per cent were female; yet, of the 100 individuals who were directly affected by harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour, 78 per cent were female, and 22 per cent were male.
In total, the Centre received 625 contacts across the 410 individuals who either accessed a team of counsellors with university degrees and a wealth of experience in counselling, social work and psychology as well as experience in a military context; confidential supportive counselling available 24/7/365 with no triage and no duty to report; planning assistance for members’ immediate safety; or a facilitated access to a Military Liaison Team, including a member of the Military Police.
The report also notes that 48 per cent of CAF members who contacted the Centre were junior and senior Non-Commissioned Members.
The Centre’s report also highlighted actions taken in the last year to improve their services. Among these, the SMRC implemented an enhanced electronic database to ensure consistency and continuity of service to CAF members, confidentiality of caller information and an improved ability to analyze issues and trends.
Other actions taken include expanding hours, moving in to a larger space, gearing up for the provision of 24/7 services; and the development of standard training and orientation processes for new counsellors.
The SMRC also conducted information sessions with over 3,500 CAF members through town halls, and other events and briefings.
CAF members are encouraged to contact professional counsellors regarding situations of inappropriate sexual behaviour by phone or e-mail, and access confidential, supportive counselling at any time of the day or night all year round.
CAF members who need information and/or support specifically related to harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour can call 1-844-750-1648 or email DND.SMRC-CIIS.MDN@forces.gc.ca. Civilian employees of the Department of National Defence have access to the Employee Assistance Program.