(istock photo)

(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

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Nelson's Diana Morita Cole is the keynote speaker of the KDocsFF film festival. Photo: Submitted
Nelson author Diana Morita Cole to speak at film festival

She will share a virtual stage with actor George Takei

Ryan Bavin of Bavin Glassworks in Invermere. Photo: Submitted
Call for entries for Columbia Basin Culture Tour

Deadline for registration for artists and venues is April 15

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Most Read