Monday, May 1, 2017

Sex assault lawsuits seek culture change in Canada's military - NOW TORONTO

Originally published:  April 27, 2017

A recently announced review of military uniforms, ceremonies, badges and drills - part of a new diversity strategy aimed at making a broad swath of equity-seeking groups feel more welcome in the Canadian military - drew a chuckle from Navy veteran Nicola Peffers. She's one of two lead plaintiffs in sexual harassment and assault class actions filed against the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

"It all comes down to lipstick on a pig," says Peffers, a former marine electrician whose account of discrimination, insults and abuse is chronicled in her new book, Refuge In The Black Deck (Caitlin Press). 

"Nothing has changed," she says. 

In December, Peffers, 32, filed a notice of civil suit in the BC Supreme Court claiming "persistent sex-, gender- and sexual-orientation-based discrimination, bullying, harassment and sexual assault" in the CAF. Peffers says she's still dealing with the effects of PTSD brought on by four years in the forces and, specifically, a six-month deployment on HMCS Winnipeg in 2009.