One in three Air Force women report sexual harassment

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A Department of the Air Force report found that one in three Air Force woman and one in four Air Force civilians experienced sexual harassment during their careers with the department.

The report relied on firsthand accounts from anonymous respondents, who detailed accounts of sexism and sexual harassment that was directed at females in the Air Force. The report also detailed how some females felt there was a stigma surrounding pregnancy and maternity leave.

Women also reported a lack of trust in their chain of command to fix the issues, believing that nothing would be done about it and fearing reprisal or retribution.

The report was released just one day after Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall vowed to review the branch’s handling of domestic violence and abuse complaints.

Kendall’s vow came after CBS News investigation found that all branches of the U.S. military frequently failed to take action on reports of domestic or sexual violence from service members and their spouses.

“I am extremely troubled by the claims of inappropriate handling of domestic violence complaints highlighted in your broadcast and have directed the Department of the Air Force Inspector General to conduct a comprehensive review of those cases,” Kendall said in a statement.

“The review will address not only the investigation and disciplinary actions associated with these cases, but also the support provided to the victims,” he added. “There is absolutely no place for sexual assault, sexual harassment or domestic violence in the Department of the Air Force.”

CBS reported that the U.S. military received about 100,000 complaints of alleged domestic violence since 2015.

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