• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

TCM621

Sr. Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
140
Points
430
I wasn't much of a "barracks room lawyer". But, I recall "refusing a lawful order" was mentioned during GMT ( BMQ ).

Which is why I was a little bit surprised to read of today's CAF,



Key word: Refuse.

Refusal of a lawful order, was a quick way to commit career suicide in emergency services, or the CAF. At least it was when I was in.

I know times have changed since then, but not that much.
You are right. The CAF could easily force someone to do it. The CAF can force you to take a bound to draw enemy fire too. But I, pensionally, try not to force people to do something they are uncomfortable with unless I really have to.

Let's turn this around, if a woman refuses to be alone with a man because she is worried something could happen do we force her? Of course not. That doesn't mean we leave it there and it doesn't me we leave it there for a man. I have had some people work for me who didn't want to work for various people for various reasons and one of my jobs is to deal with it. It's a lot of work though and why would we want to increase that programs that don't make women feel safer?
 

mariomike

Army.ca Legend
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
191
Points
930
But I, pensionally, try not to force people to do something they are uncomfortable with unless I really have to.
That's admirable.

But, what caught my attention was the word "refuse".

I know guys who refuse to be alone with some women because they are afraid of a false accusation.
 

Mick

Member
Reaction score
48
Points
380
Here's a link to an article written by Annalise Schamuhn. Definitely worth a read.

 

Kilted

Full Member
Reaction score
106
Points
560
You are right. The CAF could easily force someone to do it. The CAF can force you to take a bound to draw enemy fire too. But I, pensionally, try not to force people to do something they are uncomfortable with unless I really have to.

Let's turn this around, if a woman refuses to be alone with a man because she is worried something could happen do we force her? Of course not. That doesn't mean we leave it there and it doesn't me we leave it there for a man. I have had some people work for me who didn't want to work for various people for various reasons and one of my jobs is to deal with it. It's a lot of work though and why would we want to increase that programs that don't make women feel safer?
Is forcing someone to be alone with a member of the opposite sex a lawful order in this atmosphere? Given the gender ratio in the forces, I don't think that it's unthinkable to accommodate those who are seriously concerned. They're also those who may request accommodation on religious grounds, which should be a reasonable request. They are not asking to not work with women, just not be alone with them. That being said I am from an Infantry Regiment, our male to female ratio is much higher than a random Air Force Squadron for example.

I was kind of worried that we might see something similar to this with regards to the recent hateful conduct measures. However, it appears that this has not had a significant impact on unit cohesion, at least based on what I have seen or heard about.
 

TCM621

Sr. Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
140
Points
430
Freudian slip perhaps?
Who said it was a slip? 😏

That's admirable.

But, what caught my attention was the word "refuse".
I meant it. Have you never had someone refuse to do something in your career? I have. I have even been willing to risk my career over it. Whatever you think of their reasoning, people do feel that way.
 

ArmyRick

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
33
Points
530

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
257
Points
880
Here's a link to an article written by Annalise Schamuhn. Definitely worth a read.

Very humbling. I truly hope she is making peace as best she can with how we treated her and her family and that she is able to move on and not let this hold her back.
 

Jarnhamar

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
647
Points
940
Is forcing someone to be alone with a member of the opposite sex a lawful order in this atmosphere? Given the gender ratio in the forces, I don't think that it's unthinkable to accommodate those who are seriously concerned.
This is part of the infuriating position we've placed ourselves in. If there are legitimate concerns about working with another member in the CAF, male or female, it should be addressed and dealt with. Separating people by gender isn't dealing with it. We have MELs that amount to members not going to the field/not working in areas without handwashing stations because they're afraid of catching Covid. How long before we get "can't work with male/female gender" MELs? Or mbr must have same-gendered section commander?

They're also those who may request accommodation on religious grounds, which should be a reasonable request. They are not asking to not work with women, just not be alone with them.
IMO this is a bad accommodation to make. We're in the military. It sets up a battle between religious accommodations and discriminating on the basis of gender. Not working with someone based on their gender could also border on meeting the criteria for harassment.
 

Kilted

Full Member
Reaction score
106
Points
560
This is part of the infuriating position we've placed ourselves in. If there are legitimate concerns about working with another member in the CAF, male or female, it should be addressed and dealt with. Separating people by gender isn't dealing with it. We have MELs that amount to members not going to the field/not working in areas without handwashing stations because they're afraid of catching Covid. How long before we get "can't work with male/female gender" MELs? Or mbr must have same-gendered section commander?


IMO this is a bad accommodation to make. We're in the military. It sets up a battle between religious accommodations and discriminating on the basis of gender. Not working with someone based on their gender could also border on meeting the criteria for harassment.
I have seen it happen multiple times where someone who has made an Op Honour complaint has been avoided by everyone because they are concerned about having similar accusations made against them. But the issue is bigger than that, there have always been people who are looking to cover their own backside, now there many people who perceive that there is already a witch hunt that can come down on compleletly innocent people based on their gender.

I'm not saying that they wouldn't work with women, I was saying not be alone with women, more specifically a woman. Their can be a number of simiple accommodations that can be made. Put a window on a door in a room that would otherwise be private, have three people work in an office instead of two, have a supervisor leave a door open when talking with someone. There are already a number of practices that are already in place. For example, its not uncommon if there are multiple females on course or in a platoon to put them in the same fireteam, or fireteams as the numbers require.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
1,554
Points
1,060
This is part of the infuriating position we've placed ourselves in. If there are legitimate concerns about working with another member in the CAF, male or female, it should be addressed and dealt with. Separating people by gender isn't dealing with it. We have MELs that amount to members not going to the field/not working in areas without handwashing stations because they're afraid of catching Covid. How long before we get "can't work with male/female gender" MELs? Or mbr must have same-gendered section commander?


IMO this is a bad accommodation to make. We're in the military. It sets up a battle between religious accommodations and discriminating on the basis of gender. Not working with someone based on their gender could also border on meeting the criteria for harassment.

The other issue is that, just because someone is the same gender doesn't mean they are 'safe':

Viz:

Same-sex sexual violence in the military: A scoping review​

Introduction: Sexual violence (SV) is a globally prevalent issue, and the majority of research focuses on the historical view of SV as an act perpetrated by men against women. Same-sex sexual violence (SSSV) incidents represent a small proportion of recorded sexual offences, and therefore prevalence and consequences of this have received little attention. Male-dominated occupations, such as the military, are associated with higher rates of SV and data points to a particular vulnerability to SSSV of male service personnel (SP).

 

Kilted

Full Member
Reaction score
106
Points
560
The other issue is that, just because someone is the same gender doesn't mean they are 'safe':

Viz:

Same-sex sexual violence in the military: A scoping review​

Introduction: Sexual violence (SV) is a globally prevalent issue, and the majority of research focuses on the historical view of SV as an act perpetrated by men against women. Same-sex sexual violence (SSSV) incidents represent a small proportion of recorded sexual offences, and therefore prevalence and consequences of this have received little attention. Male-dominated occupations, such as the military, are associated with higher rates of SV and data points to a particular vulnerability to SSSV of male service personnel (SP).

That is always an issue, and one that I would guess is still significantly underreported. The main reason for avoiding being alone with someone of the opposite gender is to avoid sexual harassment or assault allegations. You can always get the same thing from a person of the same gender, but I don't think that nearly as many people are worried about that.
 

Jarnhamar

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
647
Points
940
I'm not saying that they wouldn't work with women, I was saying not be alone with women, more specifically a woman. Their can be a number of simiple accommodations that can be made. Put a window on a door in a room that would otherwise be private, have three people work in an office instead of two, have a supervisor leave a door open when talking with someone. There are already a number of practices that are already in place.
If 3 members of an office were female and 1 was male would we make the same accommodations?

What if 3 males were gay and 1 was straight and felt uncomfortable near gay men? Would we entertain a straight male not wanting to be alone with someone who was gay?

I get what you're saying about accommodations and I'm not trying to be draconian or anything, I think making accommodations like this avoids dealing with the true issues.

For example, its not uncommon if there are multiple females on course or in a platoon to put them in the same fireteam, or fireteams as the numbers require.
I've seen this a lot and am completely against it. If we're going to put females together because they're female what about homosexuals or muslims? Should we avoid having a male and a female in the same vehicle together?



I say if someone can't keep their hands to themselves or can't avoid making inappropriate comments then nail them with remedial measures and charges. They'll either smarten up or get kicked out.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
1,554
Points
1,060
I say if someone can't keep their hands to themselves or can't avoid making inappropriate comments then nail them with remedial measures and charges. They'll either smarten up or get kicked out.

Anna Kendrick Movie GIF by Pitch Perfect
 

Kilted

Full Member
Reaction score
106
Points
560
If 3 members of an office were female and 1 was male would we make the same accommodations?

What if 3 males were gay and 1 was straight and felt uncomfortable near gay men? Would we entertain a straight male not wanting to be alone with someone who was gay?

I get what you're saying about accommodations and I'm not trying to be draconian or anything, I think making accommodations like this avoids dealing with the true issues.


I've seen this a lot and am completely against it. If we're going to put females together because they're female what about homosexuals or muslims? Should we avoid having a male and a female in the same vehicle together?



I say if someone can't keep their hands to themselves or can't avoid making inappropriate comments then nail them with remedial measures and charges. They'll either smarten up or get kicked out.
Segregating females as much as possible on course is seen as a way to avoid issues. This is epically relevant on BMQ when we don't necessary know who it is we have coming into the CAF, not saying that that isn't something to worry about at other rank levels. If there were actual harassments concerns with regards to homosexual members, even if the other member was misunderstanding the situation, there still should be some type of investigation, formal or informal and action taken as necessary. Obviously this would not just be for someone who was just uncomfortable.

It's not about actual actions or statements that might be said, its about members avoiding false accusations. I know some places refer to this as social safety. Should we be surprised after everything that happened with Op Honour that some male members may try to avoid at all costs any situation where they could be accused of anything?
 

Haggis

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
297
Points
880
When I worked in the IM Gp, I shared an office with five women. No issues at all, on either side, despite some good natured ribbing, mostly aimed at me.
 

mariomike

Army.ca Legend
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
191
Points
930
Have you never had someone refuse to do something in your career? I have. I have even been willing to risk my career over it. Whatever you think of their reasoning, people do feel that way.
I am in no position to question anyone's "reasoning" or "feelings" about anything. :)

I only question the technical use of just one word: "refuse".

As in,
I know guys who refuse to be alone with some women because they are afraid of a false accusation.

In that case, a good leader would,
But I, pensionally, try not to force people to do something they are uncomfortable with unless I really have to.

unless I really have to.

That may not be compatible with their "reasoning" or "feelings". But, presumably, your orders are obeyed.

So, there was no refusal.

That is all I was trying to say. Obviously, didn't do a very good job of it.

Have you never had someone refuse to do something in your career?

Not until their six-month ( one-year if they didn't like you ) probationary period was completed.

But, after that? Sure. Plenty of times. Station interior and exterior duties mostly. Like refusing to clean the place up. Take out the garbage. Mop the floor. Cut the grass. ( Or, intentionally doing a bad job of it. ) You had to shovel snow for vehicle egress and ingress. Or, neighbours could do a "slip and fall" on the sidewalk in front and sue the City. Couldn't refuse to shovel snow.

But when the bells went off, you had 60 seconds to get your wheels rolling. To refuse would be career suicide.
Paramedics are reminded of their responsibility under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 43, (1) and (2).2 These sections exclude paramedics from the right to refuse work where the circumstances are inherent in their work and/or if the work refusal would directly endanger the health and safety of another person.

That would include being sent into the bedrooms of female OD's ( in various stages of consciousness and undress ), as well as female EDP's. Then taking a ride with them strapped to your stretcher. It's just the nature of the job. Get used to it, or GTFO.


I don't recall "Sexual Misconduct Allegation in The CAF" being much of a topic of conversation when I was in. Different era, I guess. No social media either. Not to suggest it was any more, or less, of a concern than it is now.

I've never asked my sister about it. Even now that she is out, she's never mentioned it. Doesn't mean it did, or didn't, happen.

alone with some women because they are afraid of a false accusation.

I confess to being mildly "afraid of a false accusation" one time many years ago. But, she soon put my mind at ease.

I had to go back on the cars for six months as a seniority "bump".

She phoned me at home to ask if she could partner with me to get off "Swing" for those six months. Her telephone call to me was a courtesy. She could have just showed up unannounced. When she offered to let me do the driving, that sealed the deal. ( Admittedly, there was a certain amount of "skill fade" in the bus and truck division. )

As far as "being alone with a woman", we slept on 12-hour night shifts in a cozy, as in tiny, room that could only contain two people. Only one washroom and shower. No chaperone. Twin couches ( that could be easily pushed together ). The Dept. supplied new and unused pillows, sheets and blankets. New stretcher mattresses were available for extra cushioning , if desired.

Basically like a run down motel room. It was never intended for mixed partners.

We got along fine. Good thing too. Because, if I had "refused" to be alone with her, the union wouldn't get involved in a case like that.
It would have been me transferred to Scarborough. Not her.





 

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
314
Points
880
People ordinarily try to eliminate risk. When an accusation is enough to ruin a reputation and cause hardship (eg. expenditure of time and money), people will avoid opportunities for accusations to be made. Hence, no one-on-one situations behind closed doors. There is a small fraction of people who will use rules to apply pressure to get what they want. Anyone who pays attention to office politics knows this. There is no point whinging about prudent risk mitigation.

The problem is that some guys never learn that unwanted attention from men is more accurately described as attention from unwanted men. Figuring out which side of the line you are on is the difference between courtship and harassment.
 
Top