Female Mounties Bring Sexual Harassment Charges
One officer, Corporal Catherine Galliford worked on high-profile RCMP cases. She tells Canadian Broadcasting news that she was steadily beleaguered by supervisors over the course of her career. She says one in particular repeatedly tried to have sex with her, and acted in ways to make others think they were a couple.
Another supervisor pulled out his “appendage,” and asked her if the mole on it was cute. She responded professionally by saying that they were late and needed to get back to the office.
According to Galliford, the culture of the Mounties dictates that you listen to your superiors or face punishment. “If they can’t screw you, they are going to screw you over. And that’s what it became like and so I started to normalize the harassment because I didn’t know what else to do,” she said.
After 16 years of this, she says she broke. There was no help to be had from the RCMP and she now suffers from PTSD and two other debilitating diagnoses that have her on paid sick leave indefinitely. She is one among 48 officers on sick leave due to workplace conflicts.
After Galliford finally came forward, it gave other women the courage to do so as well. Krista Carle came forward and told her own story of being sexually assaulted by undercover Sgt. Robert Blundell. She is one of four women to have come forward about Sgt Blundell, all of them working for him in Calgary from 1994 to 1997. According to the statement of claim, they were “individually and separately sexually assaulted and harassed by Sgt. Blundell.”
After an investigation and settlement, Blundell was docked one day of vacation. Then he was promoted to staff sergeant. He is currently in Vancouver, overseeing the protection of VIPs.
Deputy Commissioner Peter German is being charged with giving Sgt. Blundell internal information about the sexual assault cases he was involved in. German is currently one of the top candidates for promotion to Commissioner of the RCMP.
The force responded in a written statement sent to Canadian media.
“The RCMP is clear in its approach to harassment, it is not tolerated,” the statement reads.
“The RCMP is committed to providing all its employees a work environment free of harassment, discrimination and conflict, where all employees are treated with respect and dignity. While we cannot speak to specific allegations, we continue to encourage our members to report incidents of harassment when they occur so they can be investigated immediately.”
photo credit: Big Dave Diode