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DOD begins workplace, gender relations survey for active-duty members

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- About 735,000 active-duty members across the services will be invited to take part in the largest Department of Defense Workplace and Gender Relations Survey to date beginning July 25.

The 2016 WGRA is part of a series of studies that will help assess any experiences members may have had recently with sexual harassment, sexual assault and any retaliatory behaviors associated with reporting these incidents.

"This survey is critical to our ability to understand these unwanted behaviors in the Air Force,” said Aileen Richards, an Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response operations research analyst. “The survey also includes experiences outside the workplace in order to understand the full scope of the issue and how best to support Airmen.”

This is the only survey the DOD uses to measure rates of sexual assault and harassment for active-duty members, which is why participants’ survey responses will be confidential to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Active-duty members who are selected will be contacted by the Defense Manpower Data Center’s contractor via postal mail and email. Interested Airmen can check DMDC’s survey website to see if they have been selected for the survey. The survey is voluntary, and respondents can use duty time to complete the survey.

The survey will help commanders at all levels evaluate current military workplace relations, professionalism and personal safety, and have important implications for how the military operates in the future, to include military training, justice and services.

“If you’re selected for this survey, we strongly encourage you to participate and make your voice heard,” said Maj. Gen. James Johnson, the Air Force SAPR director. “It’s important for us to base our training and policies on solid scientific research, which includes understanding current conditions across the force. As we improve our understanding of the problem, our future response and preventions efforts will also improve, and we need your help and participation to improve both.”

The survey will run until Sept. 28, and results of the survey are scheduled to be released on the DMDC website in spring 2017.