(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

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Fernie beer named Canada’s best pale ale

Fernie Brewing Company’s Campout West Coast Pale finishes first at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Cannabis yoga a budding trend in Fernie

Yoga studio, cannabis educator team up to offer Fernie’s first cannabis yoga classes from May 17

Sparwood’s Momma Di a mother to many

The Free Press competition winner revealed; plus Mother’s Day around the Valley

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

UPDATE: Aggressive coyote moves to Sparwood

Residents urged not to feed or approach the animal

City of Fernie to hold referendum for multi-purpose centre loan

Council opts for assent voting after petition calling for a referendum garners over 500 signatures

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read