Canadian Armed Forces members to benefit from enhanced victim support services
November 30, 2017 - Ottawa
Deputy Minister Jody Thomas is pleased to announce a new Charter for the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC). The Charter replaces the SMRC’s original mandate, and supports the department’s priority on well-supported, diverse, resilient people and families in Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy.
Among the highlights, the SMRC Charter will:
promote a seamless continuum of care for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members who are affected by sexual misconduct from the time of first contact until such time as they no longer need support;
focus on an efficient, person-centered approach by coordinating support initiatives related to sexual misconduct;
establish and maintain partnerships with internal and external organizations to improve access to victim support services throughout Canada, and to deployed operations.
“I am pleased to announce the implementation of the new Sexual Misconduct Response Centre Charter. It represents a significant milestone in further defining the framework for the Centre to further evolve its unique role of providing support to Canadian Armed Forces members affected by sexual misconduct.”
Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defence
“My priority is to provide a seamless continuum of care to Canadian Armed Forces members who are affected by sexual misconduct from the time of first contact until such time as they decide they no longer need support.”
Dr. Denise Preston, Executive Director, Sexual Misconduct Response Centre
“The Canadian Forces Military Police Group have long recognized the importance of a victim-centered approach to investigations with the engagement of Victim Services Coordinators employed throughout Canada. In keeping with Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s new Defence Policy, the Group and the SMRC are enhancing victim services within the Canadian Armed Forces with the introduction of additional Regional and National Victim Managers in the Group and the Major Crimes Unit of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.”
Brigadier-General Rob Delaney, Canadian Armed Forces Provost Marshal and Commander of Canadian Armed Forces Military Police group
The SMRC Charter will ensure a seamless continuum of care for CAF members who are affected by sexual misconduct from the time of first contact until such time as they signal they no longer need support. It will ensure an efficient, person-centered approach by coordinating support initiatives related to sexual misconduct.
The SMRC Charter paves the way for enhanced partnerships with CAF to increase understanding, improve preventative measures, and enhance responding to instances of sexual misconduct in the CAF.
By providing timely, compassionate, and comprehensive support to CAF members affected by sexual misconduct, the SMRC contributes to the operational readiness and effectiveness of the CAF.
The SMRC operates under the authority of the Deputy Minister, independent from the chain of command.
The SMRC was established in September 2015 in response to recommendations by an External Review into sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the CAF, and in conjunction with Operation HONOUR, in recognition that there was a need to better support members who have been affected by sexual misconduct.