A Former RCMP Officer Has Died By Suicide After Coming Forward About Sexual Harassment In The Service
Krista Carle's suicide sheds light on the pervasive bullying and sexual abuse in the RCMP.
Friends of former RCMP officer Krista Carle have confirmed to the media that she died by suicide on Friday, after a long battle with PTSD from her time in the service. Carle was 53 years old when she took her own life. She was one of several female officers to come forward about bullying and sexual assault in the RCMP.
Carle first went public about the abuse in 2011. She claimed that she had to leave the RCMP after 19 years of service because of the cruel, inappropriate treatment she received from superiors. Years of enduring the abuse gave her PTSD - Carle said that the PTSD ruined her career, her marriage, and her relationship with her kids.
What are @fordnation @RalphGoodale @LaurieScottPC @TarasNatyshak @JYakabuskiOnPC @jennkfrench going to do about what #police services are doing to their members? #harassment #reprisal #isolation #alienation #PTSD #nomoreliveslost #kristacarle pic.twitter.com/26Nr71K9MJ— Fit4Duty™ (@Fit4Duty_Ethics) July 10, 2018
Carle fought for years to have her voice heard, and to shed light on the toxic culture of abuse within the RCMP. Carle claimed to have endured 35 separate incidents of abuse as an officer in Alberta.
Carle was reportedly part of a class action lawsuit against the RCMP, along with 380 other female officers. The suit was eventually settled in 2016 by the government of Canada for $100 million.
In 2015, the RCMP's chief of defence said that the abuse that the female RCMP officers endured at that time was the result of "biological wiring." Carle called his explanation "outrageous," - she felt angry and let down by the RCMP, which she was so proud to serve.
“It was a dream come true to have completed training and to become a full-fledged member of the RCMP,” Carle said. She claimed the abuse began early on in her career, and she tried to report it many times to no avail. "It was disheartening and it slowly eroded at my personal confidence and my self-esteem,” she said.
According to reports by CTV News, the RCMP was "failing to meet the mental-health needs of its members" as recently as last year, due to a lack of resources and support from supervisors.
Former RCMP officer Janet Merlo, who also came forward with abuse allegations, wrote this message to Krista Carle on Saturday. "End of watch for my beautiful friend. I totally understand when you get to the point where you just can’t do one more day. Rest easy, I am so blessed to have been on such a journey with you."
Merlo claims that she's hears from new people every week who are pushed to the brink of suicide, unable to cope with the trauma they endured in the RCMP.
If you or anyone you know have is struggling with any of the above mentioned topics or having thoughts on harming themselves, please reach out to a trusted peer, parent or counsellor. You can also contact a local helpline which is available 24 hours a day to talk. Or click here, for additional resources.