CAF clarifies definition of sexual misconduct and issues new direction and guidance

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In support of continuing efforts under Operation HONOUR, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has released a suite of interim products to clearly define sexual misconduct and to provide commanding officers with the direction and guidance they need to respond appropriately when incidents are reported.

  • CANFORGEN  049/19 establishes a new definition of sexual misconduct and clarifies remedial processes. It amends DAOD 5019-5 – Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Disorder and supersedes CANFORGEN 002/17.
  • The Operation HONOUR Manual is a comprehensive guide, which includes tools and resources to promote a common understanding of sexual misconduct response and support. It offers valuable information for all Defence Team members, including those affected by sexual misconduct.
  • The Sexual Misconduct Incident Management Decision Tree provides step-by-step direction to the chain of command for managing disciplinary and administrative processes for reported incidents. It also provides helpful direction for integrating support for affected individuals throughout the process to ensure their perspectives are considered.

These products were developed in cooperation with, and on the expert advice of, the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, which consulted with the External Advisory Council.

They also reflect the feedback of CAF personnel, who have had on-the-ground experience addressing sexual misconduct and supporting people in their commands.

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“Our leaders are fully engaged in Operation HONOUR, and they want to do the right thing,” says Commodore Rebecca Patterson, Director General of the CAF Strategic Response Team—Sexual Misconduct. “These products will give them the clear direction, tools and resources they need to address issues fairly and consistently, and to support victims throughout the process.”

The CAF has underlined that these are interim products. It is encouraging all personnel to use them as needed and to share their comments and feedback on areas for improvement by sending an email to the CSRT-SM. This feedback will inform ongoing efforts to develop a unified, easy-to-understand, policy on sexual misconduct, as per the recommendations of the External Review Authority.

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