Military workplace survey to gauge sexual assault, harassment

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 19, 2014

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A biennial survey that tracks sexual harassment,  sexual assault and other workplace issues in the U.S. military is being conducted on behalf of the Defense Department.

About 580,000 servicemembers have begun receiving emails or letters by  post inviting them to participate in the confidential, web–based RAND Military Workplace Study, Defense Department officials announced Tuesday.

It’s the first time the RAND Corp., a federally funded research and development center, has conducted the workplace and gender relations survey. DOD in 2006 began surveying the active and reserve components to estimate the extent of sexual assault in the military.

But, after prompting from some members of Congress to get an independent look at current trends, the Pentagon earlier this year signed a contract with RAND to carry out the survey.

On the basis of the last such survey, in fiscal 2012, the DOD estimated 26,000 servicemembers had experienced some type of unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault. The number of sexual assaults reported was much lower. 

All active-duty females and a random sample of active-duty males, Reserve component and Coast Guard personnel have been invited to participate in the survey, RAND said on its website.

The goal of the survey is to provide useful information about the military workplace environment to the White House, DOD leaders, Congress, military members and the public, RAND said.

The Pentagon will present the results to the White House this fall. RAND’s full analysis of the survey findings won’t be publicly available until next spring.

The survey can be completed on or off duty, at home or at work, using a government computer, smartphone or home computer.

More information about the survey can be found at: http://www.rand.org/surveys/wgrs.html




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