What is the Deadline to submit a claim?
Does it only apply to current and former members of the Canadian forces who were sexually assaulted?
Is this for women only?
What is included in this settlement?
What if I never reported what happened to me?
Will this trigger a official report?
What if VAC already denied my claim?
Where should I start?
Read our guide to help you find out what evidence can support a disability claim for a mental or a physical injury as a result of a Military Sexual Trauma.
Where can I get support?
Amy Graham is 34 years old and served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Communications Researcher for six years between 2004 and 2010. She was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months from October 2009 until May 2010. A sexual assault by one of her superiors on her way home from Afghanistan solidified her decision to release from the military, which she did before the full onset of PTSD symptoms. In 2014, Amy was diagnosed with severe PTSD and chronic major depression. Veterans Affairs recommended she join the rehabilitation program which gives veterans access to treatment and vocational services after treatment.
Today in Gatineau, the Court Martial related to her sexual assault is concluding. The setbacks she has faced as a result of the assault combined with the frustration of the legal process and the awareness of the prevalence of assaults and poor justice in the military has fuelled Amy to fight for more. Not just for herself, but for others facing similar problems. She hopes that this lawsuit will raise awareness to these issues and hasten the course of putting an end to them.
Larry JG Beattie, CD (born 1961) in Windsor, Quebec, joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1978 at the age of 17 years old. In February 1979, he was posted to his first ship HMCS SKEENA based out of Halifax, and was sexually assaulted and raped by another sailor who was higher ranked than he was. His life was also threatened if he spoke to anyone about it.“I started drinking heavily shortly after the assault and thereafter as a coping mechanism, I cried myself to sleep many times.” He is now receiving a monthly pension from VAC for his left hand and a PTSD unrelated to his sexual assault. He has received a lump sum for erectile dysfunction which VAC blames on his medications. “My sexual dysfunction has been part of my entire life. It cost me 3 marriages and made me an alcoholic, I have been to detox and a 28 day in-house program for addiction, I have been to AA but I keep falling off the wagon as this has always been my coping mechanism.”
Nadine Schultz-Nielsen, CD (born 1978) grew up on Cape Breton Island and was naturally drawn to the Navy. She joined HMCS IROQUOIS as a Sonar Operator in 2002 and deployed on OP APOLLO in 2003. She also served out of trade as a Flight Attendant at 437(T) Squadron, and as a Component Transfer Clerk at National Defence Headquarters.
Nadine's first sexual assault was by a standards instructor at Canadian Forces Fleet School Esquimalt, BC, and she continued to experience assaults and harassment for the duration of her career. Nadine started drinking heavily shortly after arriving in Halifax as a coping mechanism; although the Navy felt like home, the daily harassment and groping were too much. Once she was able to distance herself from the ship environment she started seeking help and planned her escape to a safer more inclusive environment through out-of-trade postings and a blocked occupational transfer. When Nadine pursued a medical release for MST related trauma, she was subject to significant retaliation.
After her release in 2013, Nadine discovered that not only were there no MST-related services available through Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS), but Veterans Affairs also had nothing to offer as far as MST specific support. Nadine feels that it is important to be a part of the change she wants to see. By telling her story, she hopes to create awareness and open a dialog so others can feel safe supporting and advocating for victims of abuse within the CAF. By addressing the culture that continues to be accepted within the chain of command, Nadine hopes to encourage positive change in the CAF.