(istock photo)

Canadian Armed Forces to change approach to sexual assault investigations

New program aimed at a more open and transparent process, will consult with civilians, health and law professionals

The Canadian Armed Forces are changing the way they review sexual assault cases with the implementation of a new program promising more transparency.

The Sexual Assault Review Program, or SARP, will look at unfounded sexual assault files investigated by the military police. Currently, there are 179 unfounded sexual assault investigative files spanning from 2010 to 2016.

RELATED: Active investigation into reported sexual assault at CFB Esquimalt

An external review team will include representatives from both the civilian community and the Department of National Defence as well as a victim advocate from Ontario, a representative from the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, a nurse examiner with the Canadian Forces Health Services, a civilian prosecutor from Ottawa, a member of the RCMP and a member of the Canadian Forces National Investigative Services (CFNIS).

The team will conduct an annual review and report their findings to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal, Brigadier-General Simon Trudeau, making “recommendations as to the conduct of the investigations, identifying policy, training or best practice proposals for consideration,” according to a release.

RELATED: Former CFB Esquimalt naval officer charged with sexual assaults

Trudeau, who is also Commander of the Canadian Forces Military Police Group, said the new process will ensure sexual assault investigations are held to standards of the “highest levels.”

“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,” he added.

The goal of SARP is to conduct a more open review of unfounded sexual assault cases with input from the external review team to “validate the unfounded coding and conduct a substantive review of the investigation.”

RELATED: Surge in requests for help, reports of sexual assault since #MeToo

In 2016, the Sexual Offence Response Team, or SORT, was created to provide investigators with context on how to approach cases of this nature.

The team received specialized training in investigating sexual assault, physical abuse and child death as well as forensic interview techniques and trauma-informed care.

Because a majority of CFNIS investigations are for allegations of criminal sexual offences, SORT provides expertise regarding new trends in law enforcement concerning such offences and best practices for future sexual related investigations.

SARP will hold their introductory meeting in December in Ottawa where they will commence their review of the 179 files.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Indoor pools in RDCK to reopen Oct. 13

Pools have been closed by the pandemic since March 16

Books for Kids fundraiser celebrates 10 years

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s annual campaign is in partnership with Black Press

Pandemic a growing, learning experience for young Argenta musician

Tenise Marie will perform Oct. 3 at the Capitol Theatre

Trial of RCMP officer begins in Nelson’s Capitol Theatre

Jason Tait is charged with manslaughter after an incident in 2015

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read