Research and analysis

British Army sexual harassment report 2015

A technical report detailing the findings from a study investigating the nature, prevalence, and management of sexual harassment within the British Army.



The aim of the study was to investigate the nature, prevalence, and management of sexual harassment within the British Army in order to enhance the wellbeing of personnel and maximise operational capability.

This research contributes to the agreement signed in July 2008 between the Ministry of Defence and the Equal Opportunities Commission (now incorporated into the Equality and Human Rights Commission). It gathers information on the perceived prevalence of sexual harassment within the army with a view to better understand both the nature and extent of this issue. It also gathered opinions about the effectiveness of current initiatives in place to prevent and manage sexual harassment. This information will enable the army to better understand how successful their efforts in tackling this issue have been to date, and what more still needs to be done in order to ensure that the moral, ethical and legal obligations to service personnel are met.

An anonymous postal survey was administered to all regular and reserve servicewomen and a sample of 23,840 regular and reserve servicemen. The survey was based on previous surveys distributed in 2005 and 2009, adapted slightly to reflect the current research needs. Over 7,000 surveys were returned, making an overall response rate of 30%.

This paper has been considered by equality analysis trained personnel to ensure that the outcome does not have a disproportionate impact in the protected characteristics groups. The research proposal was presented to the MOD Research Ethics Committee (MODREC) and was given full approval.

Published 20 July 2015