Sixty senior women in the UK’s Defense Ministry have complained of a “toxic” culture at the department, including sexual assault, harassment and abuse by male colleagues.
“The workplace is hostile to women as equal and respected partners,” a letter compiled by civil servants read, according to The Guardian.
They claimed that women had been “propositioned”, “groped” and “touched repeatedly” by male colleagues at the ministry.
The letter also includes individuals complaining that they feared walking through the ministry’s pillared hall atrium in Whitehall because “ the groups of men staring is horrible.”
Meanwhile, the country’s labor and service unions have called on Defense Secretary Grant Shapps to launch an urgent investigation into widespread sexual harassment against women at the ministry.
Gareth Hills, a national officer with the FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, described the accounts of the women’s experiences as “deeply worrying”.
Back in May, damning evidence from whistle-blowers revealed ongoing sexual abuse within the British armed forces.
The evidence, published by the Defense Committee, aimed to “provide an indication of both the nature and impact of sexual abuse that continues to be perpetrated against women in our armed forces.”
A separate survey released in May showed that two out of every three young women have faced sexual harassment, bullying or verbal abuse in the workplace in Britain.
However, most victims do not report incidents for fear they will not be believed or that it might harm work relationships.
Meanwhile, child sex abuse and pedophilia have also been reported across the UK, and in most cases, about 90 percent of them were abused by people they knew.