Military Police launch Sexual Assault Review Program
November 19, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) Brigadier-General Simon Trudeau is officially announcing today the launch of the Sexual Assault Review Program (SARP). SARP will see the implementation of an open and transparent case review mechanism of unfounded sexual assault files investigated by the Military Police.
SARP will assemble an External Review Team (ERT) that includes participation of stakeholders and representatives of the civilian community and DND/CAF, to include representatives from:
- A victim advocate from Ontario
- A victim service/support representative from the Sexual Misconduct Response Center (SMRC)
- A sexual assault nurse examiner with the Canadian Forces Health Services
- A civilian prosecutor from Ottawa
- A member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on secondment to the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service (CFNIS)
- A member of the CFNIS
The ERT will conduct an annual review of all unfounded sexual assault investigations from the previous year. They will report their findings to the CFPM and make recommendations as to the conduct of the investigations, identifying policy, training or best practice proposals for consideration.
The Team will hold their introductory meeting in December 2018, in Ottawa, where they will undergo orientation training and commence their review of 179 unfounded sexual assault investigative files from 2010 to 2016.
"The Sexual Assault Review Program will provide another means by which the Canadian Forces Military Police continue to enhance the professional police service being provided to the DND/CAF community. It also ensures that our sexual assault investigative standards are to the highest levels.”
Brigadier-General Simon Trudeau, Canadian Forces Provost Marshal and Commander of the Canadian Forces Military Police Group
The intent of the SARP is to implement an open and transparent case review model of unfounded sexual assault cases to include an external review team of stakeholders with complete case file access.
The goals of SARP are to validate the unfounded coding and conduct a substantive review of the investigation.
A majority of CFNIS investigations are for allegations of criminal sexual offences. The Sexual Offence Response Team (SORT), created in 2016, provides investigators with a nucleus of expertise regarding historical investigative techniques; new trends in law enforcement concerning sexually based offences; and best practices for future sexual related investigations.
In addition to standard training received by all investigators in the CFNIS, members of the SORT also receive specialized training in investigating sexual assault; physical abuse and child death; investigating offences against children; investigative and forensic interviewing techniques; and trauma informed care training.
Frontline Military Police remain a key part of the investigative process as they are often the first point of contact for victims/complainants in the reporting of any offence. Military Police often interact with victims as they attempt to deal with their trauma. The primary task in those situations is to support and protect the victim.
Any member who has experienced or witnessed harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour of any kind in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has a range of options available to him or her. For more information regarding available services, please visit: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-support-services/sexual-misconduct.page
Maj Jean-Marc Mercier
Public Affairs Officer
Canadian Forces Provost Marshal and Canadian Forces Military Police Group
Department of National Defence
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