London: As many as 40 per cent of female British soldiers were victims of sexual harassment last year, a new survey has claimed, prompting the UK army to launch a new code of leadership.
The survey commissioned by the UK Army also found that the vast majority of the victims did not complain the matter to authorities over fears of affecting their career prospects.
Just under half of the female soldiers (44 per cent) felt some parts of the army had a problem with sexual harassment.
The report, based on a survey of 7,000 female Army soldiers, also found that nearly 13 per cent of women had had "a particularly upsetting experience", but only about 3 per cent of those made a formal written complaint.
Approximately a third (33 per cent) claimed that someone had made inappropriate efforts to talk them about sexual matters and 12 per cent had received an unwelcome attempt to touch them.
Army chief General Sir Nick Carter told BBC that the level of sexual harassment being faced by female soldiers is "totally unacceptable".
Nick said he was "disappointed" by the figures and he wanted the country's army to be "modern and inclusive" employer.
He said the change would come from the top down and the army will launch a new code of leadership in September.
He also said he would ensure the complaints process was "good and sound", so "all people feel they can complain if it is necessary to complain".
There are 15,780 women serving in the British Armed forces ? roughly 10 per cent across the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.
The disturbing findings comes amid indications last December that women could serve on the front line by 2016.