At the core of the Army is the bond formed between soldiers. At times on exercise and at war we need to know that we can count on the people around us. That is why respect for others is so important to our organisation.
Bullying and harassment undermines cohesiveness and is simply not tolerated. The Army operates a zero tolerance attitude to all forms of harassment and bullying. If you are affected by either you should not suffer in silence.
What is harassment?
Harassment occurs when one person subjects another to unwanted conduct that violates that person’s dignity. Creation of a hostile, intimidating, degrading or humiliating environment all constitutes harassment.
Harassment may be motivated by a person’s colour, race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, appearance or age.
Examples of harassment include verbal or physical threats or abuse; innuendo and mockery; the use of offensive language; making or sending unwanted calls, emails, text messages, or other forms of communication; making gestures, leering, or touching in an unnecessary way; intrusive questioning of a person; unwanted attention; and bullying.
What is bullying?
Bullying is any behavior which creates a threatening or hostile environment for the sufferer. It ruins self esteem and destroys group cohesion.
Examples of bullying include:
- Physical abuse, including initiation ceremonies
- Verbal abuse such as name calling, swearing, or spreading rumours
- Encouraging, acting on or verbalizing negative stereotypes
- Setting someone up to fail by giving them unreasonable work objectives
- Isolating a person from a group or forcing them into a group activity
- Publicly undermining someone’s authority
- Turning down applications for training, promotion or leave without reason
- Labelling someone a trouble maker because they have made a complaint
What to do:
If you feel able to do so confront the person involved. Feel free to write to or email them. You need to let them know how their actions are affecting you and then ask them to stop. Get a friend to help you.
When informal isn’t possible:
Get advice. Who can give you help? In your unit you can approach your boss, the unit EDA, the padre or the welfare officer.
If you would prefer to speak with someone outside of your unit call the Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination team on 01264 381 922 / 94391 7922. Or call Forcesline on 0800 731 4880 (UK), 0800 1827 395 (Germany), 800 91065 (Cyprus), *201 (Paradigm) or +441980 630 854 (everywhere else in the world).
Make a formal complaint. You can do this via your CO or via the Service Complaints Commissioner. They will need to know as much details as possible and you will have to tell them what redress you seek (ie what outcome you want from making the complaint).
Speak to your line manager or look at http://armedforcescomplaints.independent.gov.uk/howtocomplain.htm. Alternatively you can call the Service Complaints Commissioner on 0203 178 7634 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read more about stopping bullying and harassment log in to DII or ArmyNet and look for JSP 763. A link to the abridged guide is included here.