Class members sharing through Restorative Engagement
Restorative Engagement allows class members to share, in a supported and flexible way, their experience(s) of sexual misconduct, the impacts, their ideas and/or insights for culture change as they relate to sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Department of National Defence (DND).
Note: There is an exception to the Duty to Report in the context of this program.
If you wish to participate in the Restorative Engagement (RE) program, and did not indicate this on your claim form, you must send a written request to the claims administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org within 30 days of the date of your initial claim decision.
If you received a claim decision before April 30, 2022, your deadline to indicate interest in the RE program is May 31, 2022.
Participation is completely voluntary, and you can change your mind about participating at any time.
Who can participate
If you filed a claim under the CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement and indicated an interest in Restorative Engagement, you can participate in the program to share your experience(s), the impacts, your ideas and/or insights for culture change as they relate to sexual misconduct.
As Restorative Engagement is part of the CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement, only those who have opted in to the class action and who submit a claim form are eligible.
How to participate
You may express interest in Restorative Engagement in your CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement claim. Since you had to file your claim by November 24, 2021, you may still modify your claim to express interest in Restorative Engagement by contacting the claims administrator.
Participation in, and information shared within the Restorative Engagement program will have no impact on your claim for financial compensation. You may request to participate in Restorative Engagement whether or not you request or receive financial compensation and regardless of the findings regarding your claim.
What to expect
There are different ways in which you may share your experiences and insights related to sexual misconduct.
As part of Restorative Engagement, you may choose any or all of the following:
- Sharing as much or as little as you would like about your personal experience(s) of sexual misconduct, such as:
- the harm you suffered
- how it was or was not responded to
- the impact it had on your life
- Sharing your thoughts and knowledge about the causes of sexual misconduct and what needs to change in order to better respond to it and prevent it
- Participating in activities intended to inform and transform the CAF/DND culture to address and end sexual misconduct
These options may be done:
- In a group setting with:
- other class members
- class members and Defence representatives
- with a Defence representative (in-personFootnote 1, virtually, by phone) and also may include support person(s)
- by submitting audio recordings, videos, letters, statements or artwork to be shared with Defence representatives or the institution, with or without requiring a response
Restorative practitioners will facilitate communications and help you prepare through individual sessions before your Restorative Engagement. You are in control of the information you provide and what you choose to share is welcomed.
Note: As per a recent regulatory amendment, the Duty to Report any infringement of the Code of Service Discipline, including sexual misconduct, does not apply in the context of a restorative engagement program.
This amendment does not limit a class member’s ability to report their experience. It will help ensure others are not reporting on their behalf. Likewise, it will also ensure that CAF members as Defence representatives, who have volunteered to listen, acknowledge and learn from class members’ experiences, are not put in a position where they are obligated to report incidents of wrongdoing, regardless of whether the affected person is ready or willing to report them.
Read the News Release regarding this exception for more information.
Phases of your Restorative Engagement process
As previously mentioned, a restorative practitioner will accompany you during your engagement process to inform you, guide you and support you every step of the way.
Getting introduced to Restorative Engagement
- Learn about:
- the program
- options for participation
- Determine if the program can meet your goals and objectives
- Make an informed decision about whether or not you want to participate
- Explore what supports you might need during engagements
- Ensure you are connected with resources for support, if needed
You will not be asked to share your sexual misconduct experience.
Preparing and actively participating
- Identify your goals and objectives for your engagement process
- Decide what experiences, knowledge and/or insights you want to share and how
- Prepare to engage with other class members or with Defence representatives
You may choose to participate in different ways, for different purposes and your engagement overall can include different process options.
Concluding participation in Restorative Engagement
- Summarize your process
- Identify what worked for you
- Check if there are goals and objectives that have not been met yet
If your goals and objectives have not been met:
- Discuss your goals and objectives in order to ensure, as far as possible, that next steps are taken to meet them
If your goals and objectives were met:
- Share your feedback
- Validate how you want your input to be used
- Discuss your expectations regarding maintaining a connection with the program, in order to:
- obtain updates on the program
- potentially participate in research or consultations to discuss outcomes and initiatives with respect to culture change
It may take some time to be able to confirm with certainty that the program has met your goals and objectives, therefore, with your consent, the restorative practitioner will explore options to follow up with you sometime after the process.
Timing of your Restorative Engagement
The Restorative Engagement program launched on November 15, 2021. The initial group contacted to participate was small in order to ensure that all of the necessary resources, supports and systems were in place to proceed to contact a larger group of class members. The program will be in place until all eligible claimants have had the opportunity to participate. The program will run for a few years. There may be a significant amount of time before you are invited to participate given the high level of interest in participation.
Restorative practitioners will begin to contact class members who have requested Restorative Engagement to:
- discuss the program
- answer related questions
- help determine if Restorative Engagement can meet their goals and objectives
Requests will generally be handled on a first come, first served basis. You will be contacted based on when you submitted your claim with expressed interest in Restorative Engagement.
Key facts about Restorative Engagement
The program does not facilitate communication between individuals harmed and those who harmed them. Instead, it involves representatives of the institution in which the harm occurred.
Participation in, and information shared within the Restorative Engagement program will be confidential within legal limitations.
If you choose to share your experience(s), you may do so anonymously. This sharing can take many different forms and will only be submitted with your consent.All personal information is handled in accordance with the Privacy Act.
The program is outside the CAF chain of command and the investigation process. Participation in the program is not part of any administrative, disciplinary or criminal process.
Participation is on a voluntary basis only, and you are also free to change your mind at any step. You are in control of your participation.
Restorative practitioners are specially trained and qualified to facilitate restorative processes. For additional support, you may also call a Sexual Misconduct Response Centre counsellor toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for confidential counselling, information and referrals to other support services if needed.
Call us or send us an email if you still have questions about the Restorative Engagement program:
Note: All calls to the Restorative Engagement program toll-free number are automatically transferred to the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre’s 24/7 line, where a counsellor can speak with you about Restorative Engagement.
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