Friday, June 20, 2014

Report Confirms Savagely Brutal Abuse at Western Australian Military Base

An official Australian task force has confirmed that hundreds of male teenage recruits were subjected to “brutal physical and sexual abuse” at one of Australia’s naval bases in the 1960s-80s.

The Defense Abuse Response Task-force stated in a report released on Wednesday that the shocking and systemic treatment at HMAS Leeuwin naval base between 1960 and 1984 was “much more serious and widespread” than previously acknowledged.

“The pattern of abuse at HMAS Leeuwin was such that Defense knew or ought to have known that abuse was occurring, yet failed to take appropriate action to stop it,” said the task-force head, retired Judge Len Roberts-Smith.

A national inquiry into abuse in the Australian military was set up by the government in 2012 after the service was rocked by claims of rape and sexual assault, a culture of cover-ups and a failure to punish perpetrators. It received thousands of complaints and led the government to make a “parliamentary apology” to victims.

The abuse at the naval base was considered so serious that a separate report was triggered to deal with more than 200 complaints from junior recruits, many of whom were 15 or 16 at the time.
It heard that they suffered terrifying assaults, including rape and sodomy, often during humiliating initiation ceremonies at the instruction of senior sailors.

Victims told of being stripped and scrubbed with brushes so hard it left them bleeding, and of being so badly beaten that bones were broken.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Defense Force Chief General David Hurley described the report’s content as abhorrent, saying such abuses “should not have occurred and have no place in the Australian Defense Force.”

Press TV

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