JDF Has A Tough Stance On Sexual Harassment

Lieutenant General Rocky Meade (third from left) addresses journalists at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum. He is accompanied by (from left) Private Shamone Brailsford, Private Nicholas Rowe, Commodore Antonette Wemyss-Gorman, Colonel Mahatma and Major Alicia Copper.
Photo by Sergeant Jason Lampart

Gleaner Published: Sunday 17 March 2019

Both the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have crafted a policy on sexual harassment to especially protect women from abuse, exploitation, and career suicide.

Non-adherence could land individuals in serious trouble in both arms of the law.

The JDF – with its 6,000 military personnel of all ranks – has developed within the last year a policy that will shortly be distributed to all members of the army, according to Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, chief of defence staff (CDS), who was speaking at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Friday.

The army’s top boss said the “one” was enough.

“We have always treated any type of harassment very seriously. But what was lacking were specific guidelines. I have instituted, since last year, a very specific sexual-harassment policy. What I have done is to capture and publish very specific guidelines,” the CDS told the forum on Friday.

Continuing, he said: “We are not trying to prevent relationships. As you know, in an environment where you engage the most, that is where you are most likely to develop relationships. But the first thing I want to achieve is that nobody should be subject to undue pressure because someone else is interested in a relationship with them.

“So because of that, one of the things I have said in the sexual-harassment policy is that you are entitled to one ‘no’. Just to make it simple. So in other words, if you approach someone and they are not interested, the next approach breaches the sexual-harassment policy,” he told the forum.

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