One in two female soldiers in the German military says she has encountered some kind of sexual abuse at least once while in the armed forces, according to an internal study. 55% of women in the Bundeswehr reported some kind of sexual mistreatment on the job, with 47% citing verbal abuse, 25% saying they had been confronted with pornographic images and 24% telling researchers they had experienced unwanted sexually motivated physical contact. 3% said they had suffered sexual assault.
Von der Leyen, Germany’s first female defence chief, said the poll conducted in 2011 among 3,058 women showed that the military must change the way it deals with its female soldiers, who make up 10.1% of the armed forces. However, a parallel poll of 1,771 male soldiers showed growing resentment of gender diversity. More than 56% said women made the military worse, up from around 52% in 2005. 12% of the male soldiers reported experiencing sexual harassment.
Sexual abuse in the US military is also to be found. According to a Pentagon report, sexual abuse cases are on the rise, rising to 3,374 in 2012, a 6% increase from the previous year.
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