Statistics from the IDF chief of staff’s advisor on Women’s Affairs show that in 2012 there were approximately 500 complaints of sexual harassment or assault from soldiers, 10% of which were filed by male soldiers.
Three percent of the year's cases were considered serious – instances of rape, attempted rape, or sodomy, and half of the cases were of a physical nature. This is a small decrease from 2011.
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IDF: Rise in sexual harassment complaints
Women’s Affairs Advisor Brig. Gen. Racheli Tevet-Weisel said that two cases this year involved senior officers holding the ranks of colonel and above, but both were eventually closed.
Since the September opening of an army center which provides assistance to soldiers who have been assaulted, hundreds of complaints have been filed.
Many complaints lodged by female soldiers include harassment on the part of civilians.
"This year a number of junior officers were released because of kisses on the cheek, or indecent remarks," said Tevet-Weisel.
"In other cases, sexual assaults led to long jail sentences. Our emphasis this year is on prevention…we are investing in heavy sentencing and in an informational campaign."
The new IDF weapon in the fight against sexual harassment within the ranks includes billboards and a film to be released on social networks, said Tevet-Weisel.
To put up a fight against the phenomenon, Tevet-Weisel noted, it was decided the film include relatively provocative content such as "the popular statements used by sexual harassers themselves."
The film will be accompanied by interviews and instructional meetings with soldiers, which will take place over the next week and promoted as "A Disturbing Matter."
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