Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Norwegian Armed Forces – Results from the MOST Survey 2020

FFI-Report 2021

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21/00414

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978-82-464-3330-1

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Kari Fasting Petter Kristian Køber Kari Røren Strand
In the autumn of 2020, the Norwegian Armed Forces surveyed bullying and sexual harassment behaviors among its military and civilian employees and conscripts. The purpose of the study was to develop a better and more precise knowledge base for the ongoing protective and preventive work in the Armed Forces. The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) has analyzed the results of the study, which had 10,118 respondents and a total answering percent of 54. The questionnaire contained two scales that measure the prevalence and types of bullying and sexual harassment. In addition, the questionnaire included questions about the perpetrators, about when and where it took place, and about the respondents’ knowledge of and experience with the reporting system. This report presents the analyses of the results from the questionnaire. The findings show that 11% of the respondents have experienced some form of bullying during the last six months. Women and the younger age groups have experienced more bullying than others. The amount of bullying differs between personnel groups. Female conscripts and apprentices experienced the most (30%) and male officers the least (6%). Personal bullying, exclusion and work-related bullying were the types experienced by most respondents. Personal bullying was most common among conscripts/students, other ranks, and those under 30 years of age, independent of gender. Among the officers, civilian employees and those over 40 years of age, exclusion is the most common form of bullying. 22% of the respondents have experienced some form of sexual harassment at least once or twice during the past year. Across all personnel groups, women have experienced much more sexual harassment than men. In addition, age seems to be an important factor when it comes to sexual harassment as it declines with age. 63% of women under 30 years of age have experienced sexual harassment. Female pupils and students have experienced the most (73%) and civilian employed men the least (6%). Gender harassment is the most common type, followed by unwanted sexual attention and violation of sexual ‘rules of thumb’. Women in all personnel groups experienced much more gender harassment and unwanted sexual attention compared to men. More than half of those who have experienced bullying and a majority of those who were victims of sexual harassment, did not report it. Both women and men stated that they did not experience the behaviour to be serious enough, that they believed a report would not change anything, or that they were afraid of the consequences of reporting. Among those who did report, most have done so to their nearest leader/manager or to a colleague/fellow soldier. More respondents have reported bullying than sexual harassment. The frequency of both bullying and sexual harassment in the Armed Forces has decreased since 2018, when a similar study was completed. The decrease is, however, lowest among women in the youngest age group, where the frequency was the highest. Future studies will show whether the decrease is permanent or due to the special COVID year of 2020.

About publication

Report number

21/00414

ISBN

978-82-464-3330-1

Format

PDF-document

Size

2.4 MB

Download publication

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