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Addressing the knowledge gap: sexual violence and harassment in the UK Armed Forces
  1. Lauren R Godier and
  2. M Fossey
  1. Veterans and Families Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lauren R Godier, Anglia Ruskin University - Veterans and Families Institute, Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford CM1 1SQ, UK; lauren.godier{at}


Despite media interest in alleged sexual violence and harassment in the UK military, there remains a paucity of UK-based peer-reviewed research in this area. Ministry of Defence and service-specific reports support the suggestion that UK service personnel may be at risk of experiencing sexual harassment. These reports however highlight a reluctance by service personnel to report sexual harassment through official channels. In this article, we discuss the paucity of UK-based research pertaining to the prevalence and impact of sexual harassment in the military, explore potential reasons for this gap in knowledge and outline future directions and priorities for academic research.

  • sexual harassment
  • sexual violence
  • sexual assault
  • armed forces
  • military

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  • Contributors LG prepared and redrafted the manuscript. MF provided guidance and advice on the content of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests MF is a member of the NATO Exploratory Team examining sexual violence and sexual harassment in the armed services. He is also an ambassador for the White Ribbon Campaign which aims to end and prevent male violence against women

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.