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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
Original Articles

The Military Environment: Risk Factors for Women’s Non-Fatal Assaults

Sadler, Anne G. RN, PhD; Booth, Brenda M. PhD; Cook, Brian L. DO; Torner, James C. PhD; Doebbeling, Bradley N. MD, MSc

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Abstract

Little is known regarding environmental exposures for non-fatal violence toward women in the workplace. We sought to identify factors associated with non-fatal physical assault occurring to women during military service. A cross-sectional telephone survey of a national sample of 558 women veterans who served in Vietnam and subsequent eras of military service was conducted; 537 women were interviewed. Twenty-three percent experienced non-fatal physical assault during military service. Rates of assault were consistent across eras of service. Military environmental exposures, including sexual harassment allowed by officers (P < 0.0001) and unwanted sexual advances while on duty (P < .0001) and in sleeping quarters (P < 0.0001), were independent risk factors for assault. Environmental factors in the military workplace, including leadership behavior, appeared to promote violence toward military women. Such occupational factors can be identified and should be eliminated.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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