New revelations show reality of MoD sexual assault

2 January 2024

A woman (X) working at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed the details of the sexual assaults she suffered while working at the MoD and the failure of the Department to deal adequately with the allegations she raised.

The details come after 60 women wrote an open letter about sexual harassment and a culture of sexism within the department.

X came forward to Prospect with her story after seeing the letter in the press. She hopes that making the details of her experience public will help stop anything similar happening to someone else.

Prospect also wrote to the MOD, on behalf of the joint trade unions, well over a year ago in September 2022 calling for a review of Bullying, Harassment, Discrimination and Victimisation (BHDV) policies and procedure, including provision on timelines for process completion. There has been no meaningful engagement on these policies, and in fact the MOD have abolished the Personnel Policies Committee replacing it with a HR Forum, which has yet to acknowledge the joint trade unions’ request and engage.

Sue Ferns, Senior Deputy General Secretary of Prospect, said:

“That these assaults happened at all is shocking but for the MoD to so comprehensively fail to deal with the culprits, or take adequate measures to stop it happening again, is completely unacceptable.

“Abusive behaviour thrives in an atmosphere of permissiveness and cover up.

“It takes huge courage for women to come forward when these behaviours happen in a work-related setting, so when they do it is critical that their employer acts. The MoD needs to stop being part of the problem, start taking allegations of this nature seriously, and introduce a proper system to deal with bullying and sexual harassment.”

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