Military members experiencing sexual misconduct can come directly to the Commission

December 8, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Following the release of Statistics Canada’s survey data on sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s Interim Chief Commissioner, Charlotte-Anne Malischewski, issues the following statement:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned by the data released earlier this week by Statistics Canada from the Survey on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The results confirm that the proportion of military members who reported being sexually assaulted by another member of the military more than doubled between 2018 and 2022. Equally disheartening is that most of this is going unreported.

The survey data also confirms that while the prevalence of sexual assault was higher among women (7.5%) than men (2.8%), it was also more prevalent “among members who are younger, who are Indigenous, who have a disability, or whose sexual orientation is not heterosexual.”

The Honourable Louise Arbour’s recommendations, which the Government fully accepted, included giving members of CAF the ability to go — to the Commission — for help without any objection, without delay in transferring their file, and without reprisal for choosing this option.

The Commission, which operates independently from the CAF, can offer CAF members a free, safe and confidential way to seek resolution for experiences related sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or any other form of discrimination based on sex or gender.

Further information about the Commission’s complaints process can be found on our CAF members page web.

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The Commission is Canada’s National Human Rights Institution accredited under the UN Paris Principles. We work to promote and protect human rights within Canada.

Additional information

For immediate and independent support, contact the Sexual Misconduct Support and Resource Centre to speak confidentially with a trained support counsellor, in either official language, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call them toll-free 1-844-750-1648 or visit their website.

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