One-third of UK female surgeons sexually assaulted: Survey

A survey has shown that nearly one-third of British female surgeons has experienced sexual assault over the past five years.

The study’s results were published by the British Journal of Surgery on Tuesday.

The report said the results “indicate that both sexual harassment and sexual assault may be commonplace in the UK surgical environment, and that rape happens.”

The study surveyed more than 1,400 UK surgical workforce members through an anonymous poll.

Twenty-nine percent of the women responding to the poll and 6.9 percent of the men reported being sexually assaulted by a colleague over the last five years.

According to the survey, 63.3 percent of the female participants and 23.7 percent of the males were subjected to sexual harassment during the same period.

“These findings show that women and men in the surgical workforce are living different realities. For women, being around colleagues is more often going to mean witnessing, and being a target of, sexual misconduct,” the study said.

Alongside instances of rape at work, the study found that survey participants “reported rape by colleagues in other work-related contexts, including teaching spaces, conferences, and after-work events with colleagues,” it reported.

‘MeToo moment’ for surgery

Tamzin Cuming, chair of the Women in Surgery Forum at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said this “represents a MeToo moment for surgery.”

“Now the real work has to start to bring about a profound change in the culture of healthcare,” Cuming wrote in The Times newspaper.