Military sexual-misconduct call centre increases hours

FEDERAL – The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has extended the hours of its Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) in Ottawa to 24 hours a day, every day of the year, according to a July 24 news release from the federal Department of National Defence (DND). The SMRC has also hired new counsellors to fill the new hours, with a total of eight counsellors now available to speak with CAF members who have dealt with inappropriate sexual behaviour. The counsellors are civilians with degrees in counselling, social work or psychology and experience with the military and/or assisting with mental-health trauma, the release noted. “I am pleased that the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre is now in a position to provide this needed service to Canadian Armed Forces members anywhere in the world and at any time,” DND Deputy Minister John Forster said in a press statement. Founded in 2015, the SMRC provides telephone and e-mail support for military victims of sexual harassment and assault.

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