Royally pissed

Former RCMP officer Krista Carle took her own life after years of fighting to expose systemic sexual harassment within RCMP

By Pam Doig

WTF! That's what I kept thinking as I worked my way through Broken Dreams, Broken Lives, the recent report on life for female members inside the RCMP. WTF! Page after outrageous page.

I cut my teeth on feminism in the 80s.  The women before me had done a lot of heavy lifting and it was a time of mutual support and a community presence for women.  Take back the Night was a march of power.  Rape Crisis Centres opened and Women’s Centres were connected throughout Canada and the National Action Committee on the Status of Women was in full swing. 

Of course, all of the shit that women face today was happening but it was an era when some of what was so carefully hidden in shame before, was made real.  It was too, in the union movement, a decade of struggle; a decade of change.  A decade that declared.

Broken Dreams, Broken Lives reads like none of that ever happened.

Broken Dreams, Broken Lives is a story so hard to read that it is a stomach-turner.  It arises because two women had the chutzpah to complain.  First, one, then another.  And now six years later the report is written that is part of the settlement in those complaints.

Six years later.  3,086 claims submitted.  644 interviews completed. 2,304  awarded compensation for the horrors suffered at work, spanning 40 years.  The process was of course daunting for those responsible.  It would have been shattering for the workers coming forward.

Protests still count and demands, essential.

In the early days of the investigation, few came forward.  But in 2017, the Me Too Movement entered the global stage and that opened doors to those who otherwise lived in the grip of terrible fear.  The number of complainants soared.

In the end, the report tells us that “The culture of the RCMP is toxic and tolerates misogyny and homophobia at all ranks and in all provinces and territories…” 

After all of this, I am not able to say that even one person faced criminal charges.  For some, it was, after all, rape and there’s no way to soften that.

It is a shame.  All of it. WTF!

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