Thursday, July 05, 2012
The CIA says it is increasing enforcement of its sexual harassment policy following complaints of violations in war zones.
CIA spokesman Preston Golson told the Los Angeles Times Director of Central Intelligence David Petraeus notified agency employees in June enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment by supervisers and other agency employees would be stepped up.
Petraeus directed a team of managers to meet with senior officers in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and possibly in Yemen, Somalia and other countries -- the newspaper reported Wednesday.
Petraeus assigned what Golson called a "counselor and investigator" to handle complaints of sexual harassment at the posts, the newspaper reported.
CIA medical services officials conducted war-zone surveys in 2009 and 2011 to evaluate a variety of workplace issues, and found there had been no progress in reducing alleged cases of sexual harassment, Golson told the Times in an email.
Two former agency officials who wished to remain anonymous because they were discussing an internal matter told the newspaper the survey turned up accounts by numerous women who said they had been harassed, often by supervisors. One of the former officials said the problem "has been going on for years, but it seems to have become more serious."
Golson said most of the incidents involved "remarks or jokes of a sexual nature," but the surveys "suggested that harassment of a more physical nature may also have occurred, but was not reported."