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Canada's Top Soldier General Thomas J. Lawson Must be Demoted and DischargedTweet "...because we're biologically wired in a certain way and there will be those who believe it is a reasonable thing to press themselves and their desires on others," says Canada's Chief of The Defence Staff.
"This 'rape apologist' message explaining that men are biologically predisposed to force themselves on women is the wrong one to send to the ranks about sexual violence. It disrespects the survivors of rape in the the Canadian Army and leads to further commission of rape crime. The highest ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces are infected with misogyny. The Canadian Government has lost control of its military. By Executive Order the CDS must be demoted to a rank below that of Brigadier General and retired dishonourably in order to send the right message throughout the Canadian military, that rape is no joke," says The RINJ Foundation's Executive Director.
Canadian Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps on March 27, 2015 released an extensive report condemning a systemic problem of sexual violence and rape culture within the Canadian Armed Forces. Since then numerous cases of rape have come to light owing to the encouragement Justice Deschamp's report gave to survivors of sexual violence within the military.
External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces
The report found that there is an "underlying sexualized culture" within the Canadian Forces that is hostile to women and LGTBQ members. If left unchecked, this culture can lead to more serious incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
This sexualized environment within the CAF is characterized by frequent swearing and "highly degrading" expressions referencing women's bodies, sexual jokes, unwelcome sexual touching and discriminatory comments about women's abilities.
Some participants reported instances of sexual violence, date rape and instances of coercive relationships between lower rank women and higher rank men. In some reported cases, sex was used to enforce power dynamics in relationships and to punish and ostracize a member of a particular unit.
As soldiers move up the ranks, they become used to the sexualized culture. Thomas J. Lawson is one such example.
There are strong perceptions that there is an upheld culture where no one speaks up against sexual misconduct or assault, which deters victims from reporting such incidents.
Canadian media has lit up the air-waves and cyber space
reporting and condemning the the misogynistic conduct of the Canadian Armed
Forces. According to
the Toronto Star "Canada's military chief says sex assaults are still a
problem in the Canadian Forces because men are "biologically wired in a certain
The RINJ Foundation urges the Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of National Defence to immediately demote Tom Lawson to a rank below Colonel so that he does not retire as a member of the General Staff. The Government of Canada has lost control of its military, a dangerous thing to happen in a democracy. It needs to regain control and firmly condemn the rampant problem of rape within the Canadian Armed Forces.
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For Further Contact: rinj.org
The RINJ Foundation is an international Non Government Organization headquartered in Toronto, Canada.