Internal sexual harassment among police personnel: Insights from a Birmingham, UK cross-sectional survey

Lali Magsi, Barak Ariel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Internal sexual harassment by and between police officers is understudied. We report on a perversive, damaging, and underreported phenomenon through an anonymous survey in Birmingham, UK. Overall, internal sexual harassment affects one in every five employees, with 8.3% of males and 43% of females victimized, particularly in small police units. More than two-thirds of officers who experience physical sexual harassment and half who experience non-physical sexual harassment are serial victims (three or more), indicating that some staff members are routinely targeted by their peers - especially female officers. Victims reported long-term adverse effects, including stress, anxiety, isolation, and anger, and a quarter considered leaving the organization. One in ten observe internal sexual harassment; however, bystanders refrain from reporting incidents due to the perception that such conduct constitutes banter or the desire to protect the harasser's reputation. In light of the responses, policy implications are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberpaae049
JournalPolicing (Oxford)
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press.

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