Janet Merlo launches book on alleged RCMP harassment

A woman originally from Newfoundland and Labrador has launched a book about sexual harassment and discrimination she allegedly faced while in the RCMP.
Janet Merlo launched her book, No One to Tell: Breaking My Silence in the RCMP, on Wednesday at the Masonic Temple in St. John's. (CBC)

A woman originally from Newfoundland and Labrador has launched a book about sexual harassment and discrimination she allegedly faced while in the RCMP.

Janet Merlo, who spent 20 years in uniform, said working for the national police force quickly went from being her dream job to a nightmare, adding it destroyed her mental health, while her personal life disintegrated.

Janet Merlo is the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit against the RCMP. (CBC)
Merlo said she wrote No One to Tell: Breaking My Silence on Life in the RCMP to help people who are facing similar abuse in the workplace.

"I hope that anyone who is being bullied and harassed at work, whether it's within a police organization or any organization, that they can find their voice to come forward and speak up," said Merlo.

"And anyone who is bullying would realize the effect that they're having on anyone they're ... they're intimidating." 

Merlo said she suffered years of sexual harassment and gender discrimination, in a poisoned environment that forever altered how she views the RMCP.

"Aren't we supposed to trust the police? But the work environment I experienced with the RCMP seemed anything but safe for women."

"During my first few years as an RCMP officer, I had a supervisor who kept a naked blowup doll in his office. And during the nightshifts, he would keep it standing ... and when I'd bring in files for reading he'd ask me to stand next to it to see who was taller."

Merlo is the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit against the RCMP. The suit alleges widespread harassment and gender-based discrimination.

The book launch took place Wednesday in St. John's.

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