OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is facing fresh calls to create an exception for victims of sexual misconduct and their confidantes from having to report incidents to their commanders.
The request is one of dozens of recommendations contained in a new report released today following nearly two years of consultations involving survivors and military officials.
The government agreed to the consultations as part of its $600-million settlement deal with Armed Forces members and defence personnel who experienced inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace.
The report says the so-called duty to report was a "recurring topic of concern" during the consultations, echoing past criticisms about forcing victims and their confidantes to report incidents when they are not ready or don’t want to.
It also raises concerns about the effect on support services for victims given longstanding ambiguity around whether the requirement also applies to military medical personnel and clergy.
While the military has previously resisted changing the duty to report, Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, who is leading culture change in the Armed Forces, has indicated an exemption could be coming.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2021.
The Canadian Press