I believe these changes must be facilitated by the larger Canadian government, because internal DND systems, developed by the CAF leadership, favour superiors who behave abusively over victims of this abuse through unit-led investigations.
Four years have passed since the Marie Deschamps report was made public. A strong, sound strategy for facilitating administrative changes that would end the problems I encountered with unit-led investigations is present within this report, yet unadopted by our government.
Internal data management systems must be examined and redesigned to ensure that Canadian Armed Forces personnel are abiding by obligations stated in Canadian legislation that pertain to organizational management. More external oversight is required. Too much responsibility and ownership are placed on victims of discrimination to successfully resolve harmful sexual behaviour and gender-based discrimination in the CAF. Too much authority is given to perpetrators and leaders who fail to act when action is required.
When Canadian Armed Forces leadership failed to address the harassment, I had to release from the service to protect myself. I was subjected to increasing aggression and violent behaviours from non-commissioned members engrossed in the hostile culture. I find this response from individuals tasked with protecting our country unacceptable, and I hope you do too.
I believe external oversight is required and DND should consider moving administrative authorities to address sexual misconduct from the chain of command when situations require these measures to produce reliable results. Failures by the government to develop and execute policies and procedures that effectively protect the rights of minority groups within our government create inequalities within our society. Groups like women are not afforded equal protection or full participation because of these failures within our administration and management systems.
Canada is a nation that has excellent laws that promise protection and equal participation for all of its citizens. Women experiencing gender-based violence in the Canadian Armed Forces do not have equal access to public resources used to facilitate justice. Rather, administrative systems favour individuals in power positions who abuse their positional authority. Victims pay the financial, emotional and physical costs created by oversights in the administration of justice.
I wish to enable you to facilitate effective measures that will address the outcomes of the hostile sexualized culture within the forces. To assist you with this objective, I must help you with your understanding of the inner workings of the military administration and training systems from the perspective of an individual who came forward with harassment allegations.
It is my belief that failures within the CAF management served to facilitate sexual harassment and exploitation of subordinates. I feel that service members deserve to enjoy the same standard of living they fight for other Canadians to enjoy. To achieve this state of being, we must alter the management mechanisms that govern their daily life.
I will draw from my lived experience with military administration systems to help you grow in your understanding of how things really function in the Canadian Armed Forces with respect to the treatment of women in DND.
I look forward to answering your questions.