A review of charges laid against soldiers and civilians inside the defence community conducted after Russell Williams’s arrest has raised troubling questions – concerns the military’s top cop has told Forces brass to investigate further.
The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal told senior officials in July that figures analyzed by his office suggest Canada’s defence community – soldiers and civilians connected to the military – has a “noticeably and disturbingly higher per capita rate of sexual violations against children, including child pornography,” than the rest of the country’s population.
This is no surprise to me. I know a number of adult survivors of child abuse who came from military families. Not that every soldier is so inclined–far from it. But this is a closed community, with frequent moves and high stress, which lends itself to family violence, and a protect our own attitude, which offers a handy cover-up for those inclined. If you demand that people express their violence at your command, how can you expect them all to be able to turn it off at will? As a society, you do that to people, you reap the results.