Abuse within the Australian Armed Forces

Australian Navy Cadets

There is a long history of sexual and physical abuse in the Australian Armed Forces.

The Child Abuse Royal Commission has heard from 111 people with plausible stories of abuse in the armed forces. These victims were all under 18 years old when they were abused.

Many adults were also abused in the military since the 1960s.

The Royal Commission heard from victims in the Navy at HMAS Leeuwin in Perth, Balcombe Army Apprentice School in Victoria and the ADF cadets. These locations were those which oversaw underage cadets.

Recruits were told to ‘toughen up’ and were threatened if they ‘ratted’ on the perpetrators.

The Australian Defence Force is facing hundreds of claims from ex-personnel alleging gang rape, sexual harassment and verbal abuse. The oldest claim handled by the ADF dates back to 1963. The ADF is trying to handle all claims quickly and sensitively.

The ADF has a long-standing culture of hazing and harassment in the name of initiation and mateship. This culture has led to the physical and emotional trauma of many, with little response from the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Government.

Being abused is never acceptable.

Being verbally and physically harassed is not okay, even if it’s in the name of fun or tradition.

If you have suffered from abuse while working for the Australian Defence Force, please fill in the ADF Claimant Information Sheet.

Kelso’s will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

We will assess your claim and tell you what we can do to help.

Image Source: NavyCadets.gov

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