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Military taking far too long to investigate bullying and harassment complaints

It has emerged that female victims of bullying and sexual harassment in the military have waited a year for their complaints to be investigated.

Evidence submitted by more than 50 whistleblowers to an inquiry have uncovered the dreadful treatment of women serving in the armed forces and a backlog of complaints.

The Times reports that in one case a commissioned officer in the army said that the service complaints system had such a backlog that it was taking 24 weeks for the average resolution.

She said that she had “undergone nearly 18 months of feeling bullied, discriminated and harassed which has resulted in a decline in my health” as she waited for an outcome.

In another case, a junior officer alleged that she was sexually assaulted while another colleague watched. She said that her male peers at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst had a “sexual ranking” system and she was told that she was in their top five.

Complaints sent to the inquiry did not just concern the army. In another disturbing case a woman in the RAF said that she had feelings of “disillusion and despair” concerning the treatment of women in the service and even as she reached a higher rank, she still could not do anything to make a tangible difference.

Dianne Yates, Director at Hilary Meredith Solicitors, said: “Female victims of bullying and harassment feel isolated and unsafe as a result of the appalling treatment they have suffered. The military continues to tolerate a misogynistic culture and appears incapable of bring those at fault to account with anything like the compassion, investigatory skills and speed required.”


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