TORONTO – Canada's top military commander has ordered an internal review of programs and policies to combat sexual violence after an investigation by two magazines uncovered allegations of rampant sexual violence within the armed forces.
Gen. Tom Lawson, Canada's chief of defense staff, described the allegations in the latest edition of Maclean's magazine as "disturbing."
The eight-month investigation, conducted by Maclean's and its French-language sister publication L'Actualite, also suggests that some assaults may have been covered up.
The report in Maclean's published this week contains interviews with alleged victims, and uses access-to-information records to track military police investigations over a decade.
Lawson said the military will pursue all allegations while protecting complainants from reprisals.
Defense Minister Rob Nicholson issued a statement saying he was deeply angered to learn of the allegations.