Male instructors saw women as a “sexual challenge”

And here’s another one

Young soldiers training at Deepcut Army barracks lived in a “highly sexualised” environment where senior staff preyed on recruits in an “abuse and misuse” of power, the British Army’s director of personal [CORR] services has admitted at the inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James.

A lack of supervision and welfare helped create such an environment at the barracks in Camberley, Surrey, Brigadier Donnelly said .

Pte James, 18, was found dead with a gunshot wound to her head in November 1995.

They did a new inquest because the one at the time may have missed some witnesses and some evidence.

There was a room for fucking set aside at the barracks.

Alison Foster QC, representing [Private James’s] family, asked Brig Donnelly about evidence of a sexualised atmosphere and abuse of power at the barracks. “There was certainly a sexualised atmosphere at Deepcut, yes,” he told the hearing.

Ms Foster asked: “Do you accept that this could present a morally chaotic environment for a young female person of teenage years? … The pressure on a young female recruit could be intolerable, couldn’t it?”

Brig Donnelly replied: “Yes. We did not have the structures in place to provide a proper duty of care.”

When asked if there was a culture of misogyny in the Army, Brig Donnelly said: “The attitude and language in certain parts of the Army represented a misogynistic viewpoint, which is seen as of its time.”

Seen by whom? It’s not as if 1995 pre-dates feminism, nor is it as if misogyny has gone away now. In other words, “of its time” my ass – all times are misogyny time.

The inquest also heard that male instructors saw women as a “sexual challenge” and that senior ranks sexually propositioned female recruits. Jane Worboys, who did basic training with Pte James after joining up in May 1995, said that shortly before her death Pte James had been locked in a room by a sergeant who harassed her. “He tried to have his way with her. She told me that he had locked the door and was chasing her around the desk. As far as I am aware, nothing physically happened on that occasion.”

Locking the door is physical. Chasing is physical.

In a statement, Emma Norton, a lawyer for human rights group Liberty who represents Mr and Mrs James, said: “Over the last two days Mr James has listened to Brigadier John Donnelly give evidence about life in Deepcut barracks in 1995, when his daughter was there. Mr and Mrs James, for the first time in 20 years, have received a public acknowledgement of some of the concerns they have been raising all this time and a formal apology from the MoD. Liberty and the James family would like to acknowledge this important step.”

Pte James, from North Wales, was one of four young recruits found shot dead at Deepcut between 1995 and 2002, amid claims of a bullying culture.

That’s a sad sad story.

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