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Nearly a third of female surgeons have been sexually assaulted by a colleague, survey finds

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 12 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2090
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

Almost a third of female surgeons report having been sexually assaulted by a colleague, and two thirds have been the target of sexual harassment, a UK survey has found.

Researchers from the University of Surrey and Exeter University analysed anonymous online survey responses from 1434 surgeons (51.5% of whom were women). The survey asked about their experiences of sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape, among surgical colleagues in the past five years.

The results, published in the British Journal of Surgery on Tuesday 12 September,1 showed that 63.3% of female surgeons and 23.7% of male surgeons had been the target of sexual harassment by colleagues.

The findings came after a joint investigation by The BMJ and the Guardian earlier this year found that NHS trusts were failing to protect staff and patients from sexual harassment.2 The investigation found that more than 35 000 sexual safety incidents were reported to 212 NHS trusts in England from 2017 to 2022 and that less than a …

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