Six police officers, including Cary Ryan above, say they were victims of discrimination and harassment at work.
Six municipal police officers and ex-police officers have filed a class action lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court claiming they were victims of harassment and discrimination based on their gender.
The complainants who come from the four corners of the province denounce their colleagues, but also their superiors.
In the 25-page document filed Wednesday at the Supreme Court , the province's 13 municipal police forces are named.
A complainant claims that a police officer threatened to penetrate her with a service rifle .
Another says a colleague drew a penis in her notebook and wrote: Next time it won't be on a notepad.
Other allegations outlined in the court filing by the six women describe regular comments about oral sex, unwanted touching and sexual propositions.
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The complainants come from the four corners of the province.
All the complainants say they suffer from post-traumatic stress because of the alleged harassment and claim to have filed an internal complaint, without success. They say that the complaints even led to more violence.
Cary Ryan, a former police officer with the West Vancouver Police Department and one of the six plaintiffs, explains that they hope to force the government, police forces and cities that hold them accountable.
The plaintiffs are calling for systemic changes as well as changes in laws and policies.
We have suffered systemic violence, discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, she says. There were physical, psychological and financial consequences.
It was, either leave [the police] or commit suicide. I know these are very serious things to say, but that's how we all felt.
A quote from Cary Ryan, former police officer, West Vancouver Police Department
It's 2023 and we're still fighting for rights women! We are still fighting for fairness and equality in the workplace.
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Female police officers need protection from their employers, says Cary Ryan, a former police officer.
It's not about my story or that of the other complainants, adds Cary Ryan. It is a collective experience of decades of prejudice against women.
I chose to participate in the class action because I left the force 15 years ago. We have the courage to speak up when other people do it first. We estimate that hundreds more women will come forward.
A quote from Cary Ryan, former officer, West Vancouver Police Department
Cary Ryan explains that 15 years later, she is better, has changed careers and is in a position to help other women, to give a voice to some women who are no longer here.
The plaintiffs are first attempting to have their class action certified in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. They are also considering filing a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal.
City of Abbotsford
District of Saanich Centre
City of Delta
District of the Municipality of Esquimalt
City of Nelson
City of New Westminster
District of the Municipality of Oak Bay
City of Port Moody
District of the Municipality of Saanich
City of Surrey
City of Vancouver
City of Victoria
District of the Municipality of West Vancouver
In In a statement received by email, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) says it has no tolerance for harassment, intimidation, racism and discrimination.
The VPD affirms that, where necessary, it imposes disciplinary measures or corrective measures.
In recent years, we have made important progress toward becoming a more equitable and inclusive organization, but we know there is still work to be done to do.
With information from Karin Larsen and Benoît Ferradini
Dominique Lévesque (View profile) Dominique LévesqueFollow< /li>