British troops failing to protect women from abuse


London — About two-thirds of British female veterans experienced bullying, harassment, or discrimination in their careers, a parliamentary report said Sunday.

The report also said that women who reported serious sexual offenses were “denied of justice” due to inadequate military court systems and grievances.

Parliamentary Defense Commission found that 64% of female veterans and 58% of women in service said they had experienced bullying, harassment, and discrimination in the military. Most people say they don’t believe the military is doing enough to deal with the problem.

The Commission heard reports of “unacceptable behavior” experienced by military personnel, including gangbang, bullying to refuse sexual progress, and assault by senior officers. Others reported that “I have witnessed a friend being attacked by a group of men, but I am too afraid to report it,” and the cafeteria and accommodation are “dangerous places.” Said that it is considered.

“Currently, the grievance system is so bad that most people feel that they can’t move forward,” said Sarah Asserton, a member and veteran of the Army’s Women’s Subcommittee. Stated. “We also heard accusations of senior officers clearing complaints under the rug to protect their own reputation and career.”

She said it was clear that serious sexual offenses should not be attempted in the court martial system.

“It is not correct that the conviction rate in military courts is four to six times lower than in private courts. Women in the military have been denied justice,” said Asserton.

Approximately 4,200 women, including one in ten female employees, contributed to the survey. This was the first time the Ministry of Defense had lifted the usual restrictions to prevent staff from attending inquiries.

The report calls on authorities to hand over cases of rape and sexual assault from military courts to the civil court system, and is a new defense authority independent of the chain of command to investigate allegations of bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Asked for the establishment of.

The Commission also detailed the practical challenges of female staff. More than three-quarters of the female police officers who participated in the investigation complained about the incompatibility of uniforms and bulletproof vests, which are at high risk of harm in combat.

And the report said that serving mothers often sacrifice their greatest careers and sometimes leave the army due to difficulties in balancing service and family life. Of the mid-career executives, 90% of men have children, compared to 10% of women.

Defense Minister Annabel Goldie has introduced many changes to improve the experience of women in the military, but “in reality, that experience is not yet equal and can very rarely be really harmful. There is. “

Silvia Hui