Gender Based Violence, Harassment & Bullying Rife In Stark Review Of Defence Forces

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Defence Forces - Óglaigh na hÉireann

A report into bullying, abuse and sexual abuse in the Defence Forces has recommended a statutory fact-finding mission be established.

The Independent Review Group found harassment and discrimination persist and are not a feature of the past.

Of the 527 member of the Defence Forces surveyed, a third experienced harassment, 25% reported sexual harassment, while 33% reported at least once instance of bullying.

One respondent said female members of the Defence Forces were repeatedly called the ‘c-word‘ while others said they’d been followed, assaulted and mocked with career progression blocked.

The vast majority did not report the incident they were involved in, saying there was no point in doing so.

The Tánaiste described the report as “stark” and “harrowing”, and committed to a programme of reform and culture change within the Defence Forces.

Fundamental change is coming,” he said.

He said the current culture within the Defence Forces “is simply and entirely unacceptable”.

Any form of sexual misconduct has no place in any workplace in the country,” he said.

Today is a very challenging day for our Defence Forces, but it can also be a new start,” he added.