Class action launched against the Canadian Armed Forces for sexual assault and harassment

A group of former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, represented by Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP have launched a class action lawsuit on behalf of women and men who experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment in their service with the Canadian military. The lawsuit was initiated on Monday, November 28, 2016, when a Notice of Action was filed in Ontario Superior Court.

The plaintiffs, Amy Graham, Nadine Schultz-Nielsen, and Larry Beattie, are members of It’s Just 700, a Canada-wide online resource and peer support group for survivors of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). The group decided to bring a class action against the Canadian Armed Forces, in an effort to change a system that condones sexual misconduct and punishes victims instead of perpetrators. The claim alleges that the Armed Forces have systemically failed to prevent and protect against sexual assault and sexual harassment, including by discouraging victims from reporting, failing to investigate reported incidents, and retaliating against members who come forward.

The group filed the lawsuit on the same day that Statistics Canada revealed the results of its survey on sexual misconduct in the Armed Forces. The survey found that 1.7% of regular force and 2.6% of reserve force members had reported experiencing sexual assault in the past 12 months. More than one quarter of female members reported experiencing sexual assault at some point in their military career. Because the survey excluded any members who were on courses or had been released, and because of the continued stigma associated with reporting, there is good reason to believe the actual rates of sexual misconduct are much higher than found in the survey.

Watch for further updates on the class action lawsuit on the Raven Law website.

If you or a family member are a current or former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment in the military, you can contact our firm at armedforcesclassaction@ravenlaw.com. 

For media inquiries, please contact Andrew Raven at 613-567-2902 or araven@ravenlaw.com.

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