Armed Forces: Sexual Offences

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 17th June 2022.

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Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 23 May 2022 to Question 1528 on Armed Forces: LGBT+ People, for what reason his Department does not recognise the terms (a) military sexual assault and (b) military sexual trauma.

Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The terms "military sexual assault" and "military sexual trauma" are not recognised as legal concepts, nor as medical conditions or a clinical diagnosis, in the United Kingdom. They are labels which identify the context in which a sexual assault or traumatic experience occurred. While Defence acknowledges these terms are used in some other jurisdictions, such as the United States of America, these terms are not used by the UK National Health Service, nor the World Health Organisation's "International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems". As such, the Ministry of Defence does not utilise these terms.

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