Canadian Mounties face sexual harassment allegations
Published 18/11/2011 | 05:00
The Mounties have been hit by a sexual harassment scandal as a female officer who was a public face of the force accused senior colleagues of repeatedly asking her to sit on their knee.
Corporal Catherine Galliford, who was a media spokeswoman for the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, said she had been sexually targeted by superiors since graduating in 1991.
She claimed nothing was done when she reported the behaviour of male officers and she has now gone public, saying she had nowhere to turn for help.
A second female Mountie has also come forward alleging similar treatment, claiming she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.
In her complaint Mis Galliford alleged that one superior exposed himself to her, and that another made up ruses to travel with her so he could try to have sex with her.
She told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: "If I had a dime for every time one of my bosses asked me to sit on his knee, I'd be on a yacht in the Bahamas right now."
She claimed the officer who exposed himself was working on the Missing Women's Task Force and that he also lied to colleagues, telling them they were a couple.
Alleged harassment also took place while she was working on a long running task force investigating the bombing of Air India Flight 182, which crashed in 1985 with the loss of 329 lives, 280 of them Canadian.
Miss Galliford said: "I started to normalise the harassment because I didn't know what else to do. It just got to the point that after I had about 16 years of service, I broke."
The second female former Mountie, Krista Carle, said she had been harassed for 19 years. She said nothing was done when she complained.
She told the National Post: "It's an old boy's culture. I got paranoid, I wasn't sleeping properly, I lost a tremendous amount of weight."
Bob Paulson, who was appointed the new chief of the Mounties this week, said his first priority would be to investigate how allegations of sexual harassment have been handled. (© Daily Telegraph, London)