Newly released official figures show that bullying in British armed forces are on the rise.
According to the figures released in the latest Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey, one in 10 army personnel claimed to have been the victim of “discrimination, harassment or bullying in a service environment” during last year.
British Defense Minister Anna Soubry described the figures as serious, while a high-ranking official of the defense select committee said they were very worrying.
Through the Attitude Survey, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) monitors military personnel’s morale.
According to the recent study, the number of complaints involving discrimination, harassment or bullying in 2013 raised two percent in comparison with the previous year. The figure among junior ranks was four percent.
Overall, 8% of the victims of abuse felt so distressed that they submitted a formal written complaint. That means almost 1,250 of the 12,500 army personnel, including 3,446 officers, who participated in the survey suffered abuse during last year.
On Friday, Madeleine Moon, a Labour MP, claimed that sexual harassment was a “daily issue” in the army, saying, many female victims of sexual assault in the armed forces contacted her.
“What we get is women saying, ‘We don’t trust the military justice system.’ It’s a very male environment, especially in the army – sometimes you have a single woman in a unit and it’s very difficult for them to make a complaint,” Moon said.
She also added, “We do know that for some women the sexual assault or rape has taken place within the chain of command, but to make a complaint they have to go through that officer. They have been encouraged to drop the complaint or the complaint has been found to have no validity.”