Restorative Engagement Class Member Updates March 2022
We are pleased to let you know that we officially launched the Restorative Engagement program on November 15, 2021, and plan to continue building capacity throughout 2022.
On January 31, 2022, the first cohorts of Defence representatives began working with restorative practitioners to prepare and support their engagements within the Restorative Engagement program.
What does this mean?
In November and December, we contacted a small group of class members, starting with those whose claim forms were first submitted. When it is your turn to participate in the program, one of the regional program coordinators will reach out to you. They will see if the timing is right for you, and if you are still interested in participating. They will then send you an email with additional information and a short intake form to be filled out.
Once your interest and availability are confirmed, and the intake form has been completed, you will be connected with a restorative practitioner, who will begin discussing the process with you.
When can I expect to be contacted?
The initial group contacted to participate this fall was small in order to ensure that all of the necessary resources, supports and systems are in place. As we increase capacity we will proceed to contact a larger group of class members, in the next few months.
Class members will be invited to participate in the order that their claim forms were submitted. Please know that you will get your turn to participate in the program. It may take time. The program is expected to last for at least 3 years. It is important to note that the first contact will be initiated by the regional program coordinator of your region, and they will not automatically leave a voicemail, unless you have previously consented for them to do so. If they are unable to reach you, they will try again. If after several attempts they are unable to reach you, they will place your file on hold, and try contacting you again in 3 months.
We recognize that this waiting period can be hard to tolerate, and that emotions can arise from not knowing when you can expect to be contacted, or where you are in the order of claim submissions. Please know that support is available to you and you can contact the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre 24/7 line at any time at 1-844-750-1648.
What does participation look like?
The Restorative Engagement program empowers and supports class members to share their experience and/or the impacts and/or their knowledge, ideas and insights about what needs to change; all of which contributes to culture change within the CAF/DND.
As part of the engagement, you may choose any or all of the following:
- share as much or as little as you would like about your personal experiences of sexual misconduct, the harms you suffered, how it was or was not responded to, and the impacts it has had on your lives
- share your thoughts about the causes of sexual misconduct and what needs to change in order to prevent and better respond to it
Engagement sessions may be done:
In a group: (currently virtually but in-person will be an option when public health measures allow)
- with other class members
- with class members and Defence representatives
- with a Defence representative (currently virtually or by phone; in-person will be an option when public health measures allow)
- by providing a form of communication to be shared with Defence representatives or the institution (for example, audio recordings, videos, letters, statements, art, etc.) with or without requiring a response
Information sessions will be held starting in May and periodically throughout the duration of the program. These sessions will provide an overview of the Restorative Engagement program and include an opportunity to have your questions answered.
All sessions will be offered virtually and you will have the option to participate anonymously when you register for a session. To meet the needs of people located in different time zones and offer flexibility, there will be sessions scheduled during weekdays, evenings and weekends.
In addition to the Restorative Engagement program overview information sessions, we plan to develop and offer additional sessions on different aspects of the program. Topics may include Duty to Report within the Restorative Engagement program, or sessions tailored to what participation can look like for a class member, or a defence representative. A feedback form will be sent at the end of each session in March and April to allow participants an opportunity to provide suggestions for topics and feedback regarding the session.
Stay tuned as we publish the dates and times for these sessions on the Restorative Engagement webpage and on Sexual Misconduct Response Centre’s social media channels.
Each region now has a positional mailbox therefore when it is your turn to participate, you may receive emails directly from the regional program coordinators responsible for your region. As follows:
Atlantic Region (NL, NB, NS, PEI)
Eastern Region (QC, NCR and International)
Central Region ON excluding NCR
Western / Northern Region (MB, SK, AB, BC, YK, NT, NU)
*Note that all general inquiries should be sent to the general positional mailbox (RE-DR@forces.gc.ca), if you have not yet been contacted to participate.
We are currently developing information sheets for program participants. These will include specific information about class member participation, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and more. The Restorative Engagement webpage will continue to be updated and build upon to enhance communication on the program.
We will continue to provide you with updates throughout the duration of the program. If there are any changes to your contact information (email, or the best way to reach you), we ask that you please write to us at RE-DR@forces.gc.ca so that we can reach you. If you do not have access via email, you can contact us at 1-833-998-2048.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the program by email at RE-DR@forces.gc.ca or by phone at 1-833-998-2048 if you have any questions. Currently the toll-free number for Restorative Engagement is answered by the SMRC’s 24/7 line counsellors, to address your needs.
Thank you again for your interest in the Restorative Engagement program and for your patience as we continue to work on its development and implementation.
The Restorative Engagement program team
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