British Army Women Face Bullying, Sexual Harassment and Assault, Study Finds | UK News

Women in the British military suffer from emotional intimidation, sexual harassment and physical assault, new research shows.

Those most likely to have been abused were more likely to be younger, to have had an officer rank or in a combat support role, according to the study published in the journal BMJ Military Health.

Of the 750 female veterans who were included in the study, some 22.5% said they had been sexually harassed, while 5.1% said they had been sexually assaulted.

About 22.7% of women reported experiencing emotional bullying during their stay in the armed forces, and 3.3% said they had been physically assaulted.

About 16,500 women currently serve in the British Army

The team of British scientists has called for more support for women in the military as a matter of urgency.

About 16,500 women currently serve in the british military and they represent about 11% of the staff.

Women play a crucial role in the British military and have officially been a part of it for over 100 years, and since 2018 they can serve in all combat roles alongside their male counterparts.

Cases involving women suffering or fatigued due to the causes of mental distress were “significantly” linked to sexual harassment, according to the study, as well as for women with “a greater risk of alcohol-related difficulties”.

During this time, those who faced emotional bullying were more likely to have to deal with issues of anxiety, depression, low social support, and loneliness.

Women in the military who held an officer rank were at greater risk of sexual harassment as well as emotional intimidation, according to research.

Scientists have said that “even women in higher positions of power can run the risk of being victimized by their own superiors.”

They added that since women were in the minority in the military, “it cannot be excluded that the victimization of women in higher ranks may be perpetrated by their own peers as well as those in lower ranks.”

“Many women do not report adverse service experiences due to fear of the consequences of doing so and may continue to suffer from increased mental distress during and after military service,” the study said.

“It is essential to determine whether current reporting procedures do not ensure sufficient confidentiality to encourage women to report adverse experiences and more appropriate disclosure procedures need to be considered.

“In addition, it is essential to determine whether the existing support is adequate to meet the mental health needs of women who have experienced military adversity.”

They suggest whether organizational and leadership changes can be made to better protect women serving in the military.

More research is needed and no solid conclusions can be drawn about the cause and effect behind the study results since it was an observational study, the scientists said.

The study involved women, mostly over the age of 61, who answered questions about their experience in their military careers.

Scientists said it was also based on self-reported events, meaning it might underestimate or overestimate the true picture of what was experienced.

A defense ministry spokesperson said: “We are committed to improving the experience of women in the armed forces in all areas of their lives and do not tolerate abuse, bullying, harassment or discrimination.

“We have taken a series of steps to improve the experiences of women in our armed forces, as we continue to do for all serving personnel. advisers to support staff.

“All allegations are taken very seriously, with illegal behavior being investigated by the relevant police departments if necessary.”

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