//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Serious abuse at Australian Defence Academy alarms government


Defence minister Stephen Smith with Defence Abuse Response Taskforce head Len Roberts-Smith

Defence minister Stephen Smith with Defence Abuse Response Taskforce head Len Roberts-Smith

Claims of serious abuse at the Australian Defence Force Academy and HMAS Leeuwin naval base are “more widespread and persistent” than previously reported, a high-level inquiry has found.

In an interim report, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, headed by retired judge Len Roberts-Smith, found that abuse was evident at other recruit schools and training institutions as well.

The finding comes as soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, based in Townsville, were reportedly charged with defence discipline offences over Facebook postings that referred to women as “sluts”.

The Roberts-Smith taskforce was commissioned last year by Defence Minister Stephen Smith to investigate decades of abuse claims in the military – part of the government’s response to the 2011 “Skype affair” at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Advertisement

In particular, the taskforce has been asked to prioritise 24 claims of rape at ADFA and abuse of cadet sailors as young as 14 at the now-closed Western Australian naval base HMAS Leeuwin.

So far, only four of the 19 complainants from the “ADFA 24” rape cases from the 1990s have agreed to have their complaints assessed by the taskforce, Mr Smith said in a statement summarising the taskforce’s interim findings.

But a further 48 complaints alleging “physical abuse, sexual abuse, harassment or bullying” at ADFA had surfaced.

“The allegations of serious abuse at HMAS Leeuwin and ADFA are more widespread and persistent than was reported in the 1971 Rapke Report and in the 1998 Grey Review respectively,” the taskforce has reported.

“The particular issues which arose at HMAS Leeuwin and ADFA can also be seen at other ADF recruit schools and training institutions.”

The number of complaints that will be assessed by the taskforce has soared to 2410 – 1535 new claims on top of the 875 uncovered by the previous review by law firm DLA Piper.

The revelations follow the announcement last week by Chief of Army David Morrison that 17 soldiers including officers and non-commissioned officers had been involved in an internet sex ring that swapped demeaning images and text about women.

The ring, calling itself the “Jedi Council”, shared footage and naked images of women with whom some of the ring’s members had had sex. The images were accompanied by offensive commentary and in some cases included encouragement for other members of the ring to seek the women out and have sex with them as well.

On Thursday, the Townsville Bulletin reported that 3rd Brigade commander Brigadier Shane Caughey had said soldiers associated with sexist Facebook pages would be charged under the Australian Defence Force Discipline Act.

The Facebook pages labelled women “sluts” and “fat chicks”. Brigadier Caughey said the Army needed to be held to a higher account than the general community.

In his statement, Mr Smith also said that analysis from the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service showed there had been on average 80 reports of sexual assault per year over the past five years.

“One case of sexual assault is unacceptable. Eighty cases is of grave concern,” he said.

Of particular concern was the fact that research had shown about four out of five victims never reported their experiences, he said.

Source: National Times – Serious abuse at Defence Academy ‘more widespread and persistent’

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

One thought on “Serious abuse at Australian Defence Academy alarms government

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 17,663 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

The Chinese military has intensified its drone incursions into the skies above Taiwan with almost daily flights of combat and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) TB-001 drone was spotted crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the de facto boundary between the island and China’s […]

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India’s foreign ministry said on Friday that disengagement along a disputed border area with China will be completed by Sept. 12. Both countries began disengaging from the Gogra-Hot Springs border area in the western Himalayas on Thursday, over two years after clashes at the frontier strained diplomatic ties. The disengagement comes ahead of a meeting […]

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

Two electrifying moves in recent weeks have the potential to ignite electric vehicle demand in the United States. First, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, expanding federal tax rebates for EV purchases. Then California approved rules to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. The Inflation Reduction Act extends the Obama-era EV tax […]

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

In the post-cold war era, India has moved from a policy of non-alignment to a policy of multi-alignment. This means that India has friendly relations with almost all-powerful and developing nations. Today India is carving out a unique path for itself. Such an approach provides prominence and exposes India to the harmful behind-curtain activities by […]

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s frontline island of Kinmen was once again in the headlines when President Tsai Ing-wen paid tribute this week to the soldiers and civilians who “operated in solidarity and safeguarded Taiwan” 64 years ago. On Aug. 23, 1958 mainland Chinese troops attacked Kinmen in a key battle that marked the beginning of the Second Taiwan […]

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

The father of communism, Karl Marx, once famously said — “We have no compassion, and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror”. This statement summarises how terrorism and communism go hand in hand. Maoist China alone destroyed between 44.5 to 72 million lives. During […]

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

China is attempting to establish a “new normal” across the Taiwan Strait, eroding self-ruled Taiwan’s territorial control and increasing the threat of a strike with each military sortie, officials and analysts say. Beijing has ramped up military maneuvers in the 110-mile (180-kilometer) wide stretch of water that separates Taiwan from mainland China — and the […]

When Beijing was burning, Xi was playing personal games 

When Beijing was burning, Xi was playing personal games 

A great fire destroyed Rome for six days in the summer of AD 64. Famous Roman historian of that time, Tacitus, recorded that 70 percent of the city was destroyed and half of the city’s residents were displaced. Roman ruler Nero was accused of being indifferent, ineffective, and careless. The end result of this neglect […]

China would re-educate Taiwan in event of reunification

China would re-educate Taiwan in event of reunification

Once China achieves its professed goal of establishing control over Taiwan, a process of “re-education” of the island’s population would follow, according to China’s Ambassador to France Lu Shaye. The ambassador was speaking on French television channel BFM TV on Wednesday night, when he said a majority of the Taiwanese population actually wanted to be […]

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is a political sabotage

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is a political sabotage

Sri Lanka’s present state confirms the famous statement: “Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.” Sri Lankans have been repeating the mistakes of choosing the politicians Rajapaksas again and again. It is confirmed that there were unaccounted payments that the Chinese were liberal with during project negotiations with the island nation. They were paid […]

%d bloggers like this: