(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

Just Posted

High winds could lead to dangerous snowmobiling conditions

Advice for staying safe on the mountains Family Day weekend

Clearwater Library hosting open house

Event takes place Feb. 15 from 2—4 p.m.

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Road conditions for Feb. 15

Slippery sections on Highway 5

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read