(BBC) Female surgeons say they are being sexually harassed, assaulted and in some cases raped by colleagues, a major analysis of National Health Service –NHS- staff has found.
BBC News has spoken to women who were sexually assaulted in the operating theatre while surgery took place.
The study’s authors say there is a pattern of female trainees being abused by senior male surgeons, and this is happening now, in NHS hospitals.
The Royal College of Surgeons said the findings were “truly shocking”.
Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape have been referred to as surgery’s open secret.
There is an untold story of women being fondled inside their scrubs, of male surgeons wiping their brow on their breasts and men rubbing erections against female staff. Some have been offered career opportunities for sex.
The analysis – by the University of Exeter, the University of Surrey and the Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery – has been shared exclusively with BBC News.
Nearly two-thirds of women surgeons who responded to the researchers said they had been the target of sexual harassment and a third had been sexually assaulted by colleagues in the past five years.
Women say they fear reporting incidents will damage their careers and they lack confidence the NHS will take action.
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