Survey finds minimal progress in military's fight against sexual misconduct

OTTAWA — A new Statistics Canada survey of military personnel suggests the Canadian Forces has made minimal progress in eradicating serious sexual misconduct from the ranks despite years of effort.

According to results released this morning, 1.6 per cent of regular-force members — or about 900 full-time military personnel — reported being the victim of a sexual assault over the previous 12 months.

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The rate among reservists was even higher, with 2.2 per cent — or about 300 part-time military personnel — reporting they were the victim of a sexual assault, which includes sexual attacks, unwanted sexual touching or sexual activity without consent.

The numbers represent only a slight improvement from a similar survey conducted by Statistics Canada two years earlier, raising questions about the effectiveness of the military's efforts to eliminate such behaviour.

In a statement, the military's second-in-command, Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk, says the number of military personnel who continue to be affected by sexual misconduct is "completely unacceptable."

At the same time, Wynnyk says it is encouraging the vast majority of service members see such actions as unacceptable and have confidence in the military's ability to deal with reports of misbehaviour.

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