//
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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 15,046 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

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

Pentagon plans to improve airfields in Guam and Australia to confront China

Pentagon plans to improve airfields in Guam and Australia to confront China

The Pentagon wants to improve bases in Guam and Australia to counter China following a review of U.S. military resources around the globe. The Global Posture Review (GPR), of which an unclassified version is set to be released later on Monday, “directs additional cooperation with allies and partners who advance initiatives that contribute to regional […]

Cadence Column: Asia, November 29, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, November 29, 2021

China faces a very serious and very real boycott at the Olympic Games. The Olympic Committee awarded China as the host country and claims that politics isn’t its business; other governments need to handle that. Boycotts are under serious consideration in the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and the European Union via Lithuania. If […]

China targets ride-hailing operator Didi for delisting in New York

China targets ride-hailing operator Didi for delisting in New York

China’s internet regulator has ordered the operators of a major ride-hailing app, Didi Chuxing, to delist from the New York Stock Exchange, in an ongoing government crackdown on the country’s technology sector, international media reports said on Friday. The Cyberspace Administration has ordered Didi Global Inc to devise a plan to delist, out of concerns the […]

US sends warship through Taiwan Strait in message to China

US sends warship through Taiwan Strait in message to China

The U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) sailed through the Taiwan Strait in a routine operation on Tuesday. The transit sparked anger from the Communist Chinese government, which considers Taiwan its territory, and it characterized the U.S. warship’s actions as a provocative act. The U.S. 7th Fleet announced the USS Milius’ […]

How China is trying to turn the U.S. against itself

How China is trying to turn the U.S. against itself

As Congress advances a set of bills to protect against Beijing’s efforts to subvert American democracy, China is using our system of government to block and tackle. On November 12, Reuters reported that Chinese officials have been pressuring American companies, executives, and trade groups to lobby against the legislation, threatening to reduce their share of […]

Chinese geo-strategic expansion in the Levant: A case study of Lebanon

Chinese geo-strategic expansion in the Levant: A case study of Lebanon

As soon as the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, China and the Middle East faced a series of challenges. In recent years, China’s influence in the region has expanded due to its economic interests in energy, trade, infrastructure construction, and diplomatic contacts with the region’s countries. This is linked to President Xi […]

The Chinese Communist Party still thinks it owns the future

The Chinese Communist Party still thinks it owns the future

A rising chorus of analysts now describe China as a “peaking power”—one that might take greater risks to revise the international order before its strategic window of opportunity closes. They cite the country’s aging population , slowing economy , and hostile external environment  as evidence that time is no longer on China’s side. The “fear of decline,” they […]

Chinese maritime militia threatens order in South China Sea

Chinese maritime militia threatens order in South China Sea

Hundreds of Chinese maritime militia vessels are operating in contested areas of the South China Sea on a consistent basis, according to a new U.S. think tank report that says this poses a significant challenge to “maritime order rooted in international law.” The Washington, D.C.,-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), says that for […]

Cadence Column: Asia, November 22, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, November 22, 2021

The world is not responding well to the so-called “plandemic”. The important thing is not whether the global disease, as said by Judy Mikovits to have been developed under the supervision of Fauci, was actually intended to do all this. The public thinks it was because governments haven’t work carefully to earn public trust. Even […]

Tackling Chinese technological advantage 

Tackling Chinese technological advantage 

“China has won the artificial intelligence battle with the United States and is heading towards global dominance because of its technological advances”. When the Pentagon’s former software chief Nick Chaillan made this claim, it felt as if the whole world had come crashing down. The whole episode gave rise to the debate about who’s ahead […]

%d bloggers like this: