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Armed Forces: Sexual Harassment

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 175023, tabled on 24 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to tackle sexual harassment in the armed forces.

Answered on

13 April 2021

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is absolutely clear there is no place for sexual offending in the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces are committed to addressing the issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault through a range of actions, including awareness campaigns and training presentations around sexual consent. Training is provided to all personnel, with junior officers benefitting from additional instruction to enable them to understand the standards expected of them, tackle unacceptable behaviours and support those under their command

The MOD recognises the great courage it takes to come forward and report a sexual offence and is committed to reducing the incidence of unacceptable behaviour and to holding perpetrators to account. All allegations are thoroughly investigated, and support provided to victims. Commanding Officers must always refer any allegation of rape and sexual assault, or any other offence which may have a sexual element, to the Service Police. Anyone found to fall short of the Services’ high standards or to have committed an offence is dealt with appropriately, up to and including imprisonment and dismissal from Service. While much has been and continues to be done, including the implementation of the Wigston and Gray reports, Defence recognises the scale of the task we must address and remains committed to tackling this challenge.

Detailed statistics about sexual offending in the Service Justice System are published annually as part of our commitment to openness and transparency, and are available from the following link:

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