§ Ms. Corston
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the number of complaints by British service women of alleged sexual harassment and sexual assault against British service men for the latest year for which information is available; what action was taken as a result; and what procedures exist for reporting and investigating such instances.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
The number of complaints made by British service women about alleged sexual harassment and assault involving British service men could be provided only at disproportionate cost. All complaints by service personnel of harassment of any nature are dealt with under normal redress of grievance procedures and, if substantiated, appropriate action would be taken against the offender. Normally, a complaint is dealt with by the commanding officer, but if it cannot be resolved at that level or the complainant is dissatisfied, it may be referred up the chain of command and ultimately to the Navy, Army, or Air Force board.
If a service woman wishes to make a complaint of sexual assault, she should report the incident to her superior officer for action through the chain of command. 613W Depending on the seriousness of the offence, the matter would then be dealt with by the military authorities or civil police.