Dozens of Teens in Armed Forces Claim Raped or Sexually Abused
Dozens of teens serving in the military claim to have been raped or sexually assaulted by comrades or instructors in the past year
- Nearly half of the alleged victims were in training at the Army College in Harrogate
- Figures suggest 47 recruits under 18 are believed to have been victims of sexual assault last year
- One case has been proven, four are ongoing and 11 handed over to civil police
- Research last year found that female members were abandoned by army bosses
- Following the Ministry of Defense’s zero-tolerance policy towards sex offenders
Dozens of teens who have served in the armed forces have claimed to have been sexually assaulted by fellow comrades or instructors, according to defense chiefs.
Nearly half of those who claimed to have been victims of sexual assault were educated at an army college in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, attended by school leavers as young as 16 years old, according to The sun.
According to figures released just a year after a report by MPs that military bosses were accused of covering up rape and sexual abuse in order to protect themselves, one in ten teenage girls in the service claim to have been the victim of a sexual assault.
Nearly half of those who claimed to have been victims of sexual assault were educated at an army college in Harrogate, North Yorkshire (stock image)
New figures released by ministers following an inquiry by the House of Commons defense committee suggest 47 recruits under the age of 18 said they had been sexually assaulted or raped last year.
The investigation concluded that female members of the military were being abandoned by senior officers.
Armed Forces Minister Leo Docherty told MPs that 37 of the 47 victims were women, with one case proven, four pending and 11 handed over to civilian police.
Incidents within the armed forces are usually handled by the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, which is responsible for police surveillance of service personnel.
Of the complaints, 22 were based at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate at the time of the crime.
Figures suggest nearly 300 girls, ages 18 and under, were employed during the attacks.
Colonel Philip Ingram, a former army commander, said: “These statistics are shocking any way you look at them.
“They highlight the most basic flaws in the command on a number of different levels and yet it takes a parliamentary call to get the information into the public domain, provided by the same minister who continues to say that Defense is making huge strides in tackling inappropriate behaviour .
Of the complaints, 22 were based at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate at the time of the crime (stock image)
“Until the defense gains some form of independent oversight, it will continue to cover up what can only be described as horrific acts.”
A MoD spokesperson said: “Harassment or harassment has no place in the armed forces and all allegations are taken seriously and investigated by the service police.
“We continue to improve reporting mechanisms so that staff feel safe reporting issues and ensure allegations are followed up.
“This includes establishing a victim and witness support unit, ensuring that complaints of bullying, harassment or discrimination are handled outside the chain of command, and strengthening the levers to fire someone who has committed a sexual offence.”
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Defense published its zero tolerance approach to sex offenders in the armed forces. It applies to the Royal Navy, RAF and Army under one approach.
Significant changes included the introduction of administrative discharge with no option to serve elsewhere for those found guilty of sexual offences.
The policy also states that sexual relations between instructors and trainees are unacceptable and will result in the instructor’s dismissal.