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Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct in the CF

Survey says....


'Significant increase' in sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, Statistics Canada reports​


Statistics Canada is reporting a “significant increase” in rates of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) last year.

According to the report released Tuesday “Sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, 2022” — approximately 1,960 regular force members, about 3.5 per cent, “reported that they were sexually assaulted in the military workplace or outside of the workplace in an incident that involved CAF or other military members in the 12 months preceding the survey.”

That figure is up from 1.7 per cent in 2016, and 1.6 per cent in 2018, when previous surveys were conducted, according to Statistics Canada.

The report also states instances of sexual assault were more prevalent among women (7.5 per cent), compared to men (2.8 per cent) which is “consistent with previous findings,” and is an increase for both.

The survey collects data for instances of “sexual attacks, unwanted sexual touching, and sexual activity where the victim was unable to consent.”

“The Canadian Armed Forces is committed to eliminating all forms of misconduct, including sexual misconduct,” wrote Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre in a statement Tuesday. “Today’s results from the Survey on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces shows that, while we have made progress in some areas, we still have work to do.”

“We will continue to listen to our members and their lived experiences, and to ensure they have access to the necessary supports and services if or when they need them,” he added.

 
If the are going to use sexual misconduct for things that are crimes, they really need to use a different term for non-criminal things. The things they are calling 'sexual misconduct' here seem to be various forms of sexual assault and rape., where in other cases they will lump in things like bikini calendars, unwanted flirting, and 'jokes'.

Maybe the increased work from home in CAF would have a silver lining in decreasing opportunities for negative physical interactions.
 
Survey says....


'Significant increase' in sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, Statistics Canada reports​


Statistics Canada is reporting a “significant increase” in rates of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) last year.

According to the report released Tuesday “Sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, 2022” — approximately 1,960 regular force members, about 3.5 per cent, “reported that they were sexually assaulted in the military workplace or outside of the workplace in an incident that involved CAF or other military members in the 12 months preceding the survey.”

That figure is up from 1.7 per cent in 2016, and 1.6 per cent in 2018, when previous surveys were conducted, according to Statistics Canada.

The report also states instances of sexual assault were more prevalent among women (7.5 per cent), compared to men (2.8 per cent) which is “consistent with previous findings,” and is an increase for both.

The survey collects data for instances of “sexual attacks, unwanted sexual touching, and sexual activity where the victim was unable to consent.”

“The Canadian Armed Forces is committed to eliminating all forms of misconduct, including sexual misconduct,” wrote Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre in a statement Tuesday. “Today’s results from the Survey on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces shows that, while we have made progress in some areas, we still have work to do.”

“We will continue to listen to our members and their lived experiences, and to ensure they have access to the necessary supports and services if or when they need them,” he added.

My first question (and not easily answered) is “how much of that uptick is due to new cases, or folks being empowered to say they’ve been sexually assaulted”?

If it’s the former, that’s bad. If it’s the latter, it’s “good” (but still bad).
 
My first question (and not easily answered) is “how much of that uptick is due to new cases, or folks being empowered to say they’ve been sexually assaulted”?

If it’s the former, that’s bad. If it’s the latter, it’s “good” (but still bad).
I don’t think anyone feels more or less empowered toward answering the Statistics Canada survey.

The results showed occurrences doubling across most of the metrics. That’s not good.
 
I don’t think anyone feels more or less empowered toward answering the Statistics Canada survey.

The results showed occurrences doubling across most of the metrics. That’s not good.
That’s fair, but in that case I’d want to know how many people were polled during the earlier surveys. Was it 23000, like the last one?

I know that sample size distribution is a thing, but I would suggest that if the samples were wildly different (say 10000 vs 23000) because it wasn’t as big in the news, the percentages could also be skewed.
 
I don’t think anyone feels more or less empowered toward answering the Statistics Canada survey.

The results showed occurrences doubling across most of the metrics. That’s not good.

I guess she isn't 'stamping' hard enough. Of course, she won't lose her job ;)

 
I would suggest that if the samples were wildly different (say 10000 vs 23000) because it wasn’t as big in the news, the percentages could also be skewed.
Both of those are statistically significant sample sizes, and one would not expect either to result in wild skewing of results from the actual population. Also, both two previous surveys showed results similar to each other. Something has changed since the last time.
 
Both of those are statistically significant sample sizes, and one would not expect either to result in wild skewing of results from the actual population. Also, both two previous surveys showed results similar to each other. Something has changed since the last time.

Or maybe it's a sign of a broader, post-pandemic leadership crisis

5 Major Leadership Challenges In A Post-Pandemic World​


 
Both of those are statistically significant sample sizes, and one would not expect either to result in wild skewing of results from the actual population. Also, both two previous surveys showed results similar to each other. Something has changed since the last time.
Well, it could be the notion that actions previously considered inappropriate, but not assault are being reported as assault.

3 years ago a co-worker grabbing your ass might be considered inapporpriate, but not serious. People today know that unwanted sexual touching is sexual assault, so report it that way.

Or maybe the CAF has just become worse, and we need to fire anyone above the rank of Cpl...
 
Well, it could be the notion that actions previously considered inappropriate, but not assault are being reported as assault.

3 years ago a co-worker grabbing your ass might be considered inapporpriate, but not serious. People today know that unwanted sexual touching is sexual assault, so report it that way.

Or maybe the CAF has just become worse, and we need to fire anyone above the rank of Cpl...
Or fire everyone…just to be safe…
 
Both of those are statistically significant sample sizes, and one would not expect either to result in wild skewing of results from the actual population. Also, both two previous surveys showed results similar to each other. Something has changed since the last time.
The previous surveys were also during lockdown so a lot of people WFH or very limited social interactions out of the workplace.

Not that it's great, but the new numbers are still slightly below the Canadian population, with better reporting. So maybe that is a reasonable (but unfortunate) reference point? Just seems really unrealistic to have a zero-incident rate when it's relatively common in Canadian society.

The thing we can do is make sure the investigation, and outcome is in line with what they want, but again their attempts to 'nail the guilty bastard' have been kind of falling apart in a few high profile incidents and probably others that don't make the news.
 
If the are going to use sexual misconduct for things that are crimes, they really need to use a different term for non-criminal things. The things they are calling 'sexual misconduct' here seem to be various forms of sexual assault and rape., where in other cases they will lump in things like bikini calendars, unwanted flirting, and 'jokes'.

Maybe the increased work from home in CAF would have a silver lining in decreasing opportunities for negative physical interactions.

By making such a sweeping and broad definition of "Sexual Misconduct" the department has set itself up for failure. The general public likely attributes sexual misconduct to sexual assaults and are not aware that it also includes jokes in bad taste etc. Defining it this way seems like an exceedingly stupid thing to do. Can the folks that drafted all this up be that near sighted?
 
No they did not happen during lockdown. Why are some digging so hard for imaginary reasons to dismiss the results?

Chart 1
Regular Force members who were sexually assaulted in the 12 months preceding the survey, by selected characteristics, 2022​


Based on that number, 2,380 Regular Force members (3.5% of the Force) where sexually assaulted in 2022. That is a frightening number.
However when looking at the notes it looks a little odd:
Includes sexual assaults in the military workplace and outside the military workplace involving military members (Canadian Armed Forces or foreign) and/or Department of National Defence civilians or contractors. Includes current Regular Force members but may include some incidents of sexual assault which occurred prior to joining the Regular Force.

Regardless something is pretty FUBAR in the CAF for that number to even be half of what it is.
 
No they did not happen during lockdown. Why are some digging so hard for imaginary reasons to dismiss the results?

Ah, thanks, I thought they were using 2021 as a comparison vice 2018, as the article implied it had doubled from the previous year.

The numbers are bad for sure, but it's also a very subjective survey so really difficult to understand what it means in real terms. It's a bit hard to say if it's actually worse or if the combo of the op honour education, things like the 'tea' example for consent, mean that more things are getting lumped in then they were previously.

YMMV for sure, but subjectively found that even small things that were normal 10 years ago are a non starter now (like the calendars from the tool companies with the bikini models), so may be an indication that the op honour thrust to educate people is working?

Without a comparison point to similar survey done for people not in the CAF though, difficult to understand what this actually means. e would 2018 person have the same answer to the same question in 2022 for the same kind of scenario, or would their answer have changed based on the education on what constitutes unwanted touching, unable to consent etc? Would something like an ass grab be brushed off 5 years ago, but reported in the survey now? Would other similar things be now reported? It's hard to say.

For reference, this happens in other areas where, because the definition changes significantly over time, using historical data is challenging. The one that comes to mind is the rates of ASD, where the actual definition has changed massively, along with diagnoses, so things that used to be something different are now grouped in and skewing more recent stats.

It's a difficult one to figure out for sure, but we seem to be more than society writ large on this, so some context from outside the CAF would be useful, but probably doesn't sell headlines like 'CAF are a rapey bunch' with a stock photo.
 
Ah, thanks, I thought they were using 2021 as a comparison vice 2018, as the article implied it had doubled from the previous year.

The numbers are bad for sure, but it's also a very subjective survey so really difficult to understand what it means in real terms. It's a bit hard to say if it's actually worse or if the combo of the op honour education, things like the 'tea' example for consent, mean that more things are getting lumped in then they were previously.

YMMV for sure, but subjectively found that even small things that were normal 10 years ago are a non starter now (like the calendars from the tool companies with the bikini models), so may be an indication that the op honour thrust to educate people is working?

Without a comparison point to similar survey done for people not in the CAF though, difficult to understand what this actually means. e would 2018 person have the same answer to the same question in 2022 for the same kind of scenario, or would their answer have changed based on the education on what constitutes unwanted touching, unable to consent etc? Would something like an ass grab be brushed off 5 years ago, but reported in the survey now? Would other similar things be now reported? It's hard to say.

For reference, this happens in other areas where, because the definition changes significantly over time, using historical data is challenging. The one that comes to mind is the rates of ASD, where the actual definition has changed massively, along with diagnoses, so things that used to be something different are now grouped in and skewing more recent stats.

It's a difficult one to figure out for sure, but we seem to be more than society writ large on this, so some context from outside the CAF would be useful, but probably doesn't sell headlines like 'CAF are a rapey bunch' with a stock photo.

Good advice for the most senior leaders ;)

1701885486501.png
 
Good advice for the most senior leaders ;)

View attachment 81625
Sure, but also recognize progress. Despite the numbers, I think we have progressed a lot on the culture change side of things, but pretty demoralizing to keep getting kicked in the face. If people try, and the goalposts keep moving while you criticize them for not doing better, eventually people stop caring and will do the bare minimum.

After some pretty constant downhill on the material side, we've finally gotten senior leaders saying things in public about the overall readiness state (which probably still understates things) but this file seems to be a continual kicking down for political reasons. Lot of 'you suck, suck less', or the generic 'do better', or whatever empty verbiage is being employed that day.
 
THe latest: there's now an Honorary Colonel to help make the response needle move (archived link also here).
Mini-bio from the statement ...
... Ms. Douglas, a Carleton University graduate, is a veteran, retired public servant, and a survivor of the “LGBT Purge”, a term applied to the Government of Canada’s discriminatory practice and unjust treatment towards Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and additional sexual and gender identities (2SLGBTQI+) federal public servants, including those in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). She served as an officer in the CAF for three years (1986-1989), when she was honorably discharged, despite a distinguished service record, for being deemed “not advantageously employable due to homosexuality”.

In 1992, Ms. Douglas launched a landmark legal challenge against the Department of National Defence that resulted in Canada ending its formal policy of discrimination against 2SLGBTQI+ members in the CAF.

Professionally, Ms. Douglas worked in the federal public service for three decades. She retired from the Department of Justice in 2019, where she held the position of Director of International Relations. Currently, Ms. Douglas, serves as the Executive Director of the LGBT Purge Fund, an organization that supports reconciliation and memorialization projects relating the purge.

Ms. Douglas has received several awards recognizing her incredible commitment to Canadians and inclusion, notably the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Canada Pride Citation, and was the inaugural recipient of the Public Service Pride Network Pioneer Award ...
 
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