Listen in to the Sam Laprade show to hear Donna Riguidel's perspective on several topics in relation to Military Sexual Misconduct including Minister Anand 's latest recommendations to remove sexual misconduct from the military system and how the Front Line Workshop by Survivor Perspectives Consulting Group is working to teach members of the CAF how to support and help MST survivors. Below are some of the major points and excerpts of the show you can listen to here.
Sam Laprade: "We know that Minister Anita Anand came down with some recommendations in regards to sexual misconduct and one of them is to remove the military from any of the procedures regarding sexual misconduct. Is this a good move Donna?"
Donna Riguidel: "...What people don't realize is that regardless of the system it is a very long wait, 18 months to 3 years, before your case will see the inside of a court room. It is a marathon, not a sprint. There are pros and cons to both. The military system might be better at catching what you consider to be lower harm behaviour but of course the civilian system might be better equipped as far as victim support services..."
Sam Laprade: "Donna tell me a little bit about Survivor Perspectives and why this group was started."
Donna Riguidel: "...We thought, you know what, wouldn't it be great if being victimized in this way didn't have to cost somebody their career. If we could support survivors so that they could better heal and then either return to life in uniform full strength or if they cycle out, do so mentally healthy. And that is what we focused on. We worked with a lot of best practices and experts in the field, got training ourselves and then built this training program..."
Sam Laprade: "Donna take me back to the minute you decided you wanted to enter the Canadian Armed Forces and be a part of a solution for this country and where it went so wrong."
Donna Riguidel: "...I think what I was unprepared for was I came in knowing I was going to have to trust my peers and my leaders with my life but I wasn't aware I wasn't going to be able to trust them with my body. That's really hard to reconcile as somebody serving..."
Sam Laprade: "...That really summarizes what this is all about...I think that there's a lot of people what would have preferred it to stay quiet. Would you agree Donna?"
Donna Riguidel: "...I think people have to understand that just because you had a positive experience, it doesn't invalidate mine... I hear people say "well we should just get back to the way things were." The way things were was hurting people.... It's not about going back to the "good old days", it's about building something stronger and better. Joining the CAF should mean that you should be able serve with duty and honour. It doesn't mean that you are signing up to be harassed or assaulted..."
"There are people like our group who are doing our best to train other people so that, God forbid, if one of our young people is injured in this way it doesn't have to define them. That they will be able to heal (they will always carry a scar, don't get me wrong, they still have to process their injury) but that they will still live out every potential and chase every dream."
"So hopefully as we continue to do that we can get to the point (it's like any other first aid) that people will know how to help one another and we can really have each other's backs so that we can get back to the business of being a military."