Sexual abuse in the military

Claiming compensation for sexual abuse in the military

For free confidential guidance on claiming compensation for sexual abuse in the military contact our dedicated helpline on FREEPHONE 0333 888 0445 or send an email to us at  [email protected]

A freedom of information request concerning the Army Foundation College Harrogate has revealed that 9 rapes were reported to the police in a 13 month period between July 2022 to August 2023. Furthermore, there were 2 reports of sexual assault and 2 reports of voyeurism.

There are no further details at this time regarding any investigations that have taken place into these allegations and whether any individuals have been held responsible.

The UK is the only nation in Europe to allow 16 year olds to join the military and AFC Harrogate (rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2021 for their welfare and safeguarding provision) provides training to 16 and 17 year olds. However, it is not the only military establishment to face such allegations.

The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, was scrutinised in 2022 about a toxic culture of sexual abuse. This followed a number of women reporting abuse during their training, with cases dating back over the previous 20 years.

In 2021, a 19 year-old female was believed to have taken her own life after being the victim of sexual harassment at the hands of one of her superiors. She had joined the army aged 16 and was found dead at Larkhill Camp, Wiltshire after receiving in excess of 4,000 text messages between October and November 2021.

In January 2023, an Army Corporal was found guilty of 9 charges, dismissed from the Army and sentenced to 20 months military detention. His charges included 1 count of sexual assault and 8 counts of cruel or indecent disgraceful conduct. It was reported that the Corporal made crude comments to female recruits and would routinely walk in the showers to see them naked. Over a 9 month period, he reportedly targeted 6 girls at a military college, resulting in 1 suffering from PTSD and another leaving the Army altogether.

In May 2023, another Corporal was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment after being found guilty of 1 charge of rape and 1 charge of sexual assault. The victim awoke to the Corporal having sexual intercourse with her. He later told her, “You’re fine, I was wearing a condom.”

Unfortunately, these incidents of sexual abuse in the military are not unprecedented. It has been reported that sexual offences  where soldiers and sailors are the perpetrators have risen 70%. In 2022, the military court heard 55 sexual assault cases, which was a rise from 32 cases the year before. In 2022, 29 troops were convicted of sexual offences, including rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, which was up from 20 in 2021.

It is important that anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse in the military receives the correct support. There are a number of organisations that offer specialist help, such as Salute Her UK. This is an independent charity, created in 2017, to support women in the Armed Forces, veterans and women at sea who have been a victim of sexual assault, bullying and harassment.

We also offer free legal guidance which you can access by contacting our helpline in complete confidence.

Call us on 0333 888 0445 or, if you prefer, send an email to us at [email protected] 

Sexual abuse in the military