The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has highlighted the many issues surrounding institutional abuse. This includes the responses to allegations of sexual abuse occurring in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
In December 2016 the Royal Commission heard experiences of child sexual abuse survivors from the following institutions:
> HMAS Leeuwin from 1960-1980
> The Army Apprentice School Balcombe from 1970-1980, and
> ADF Cadets from 2000-Present
Abuse within the Defence Force isn’t limited to those training facilities and it’s not limited to persons under the age of 18. Between April and October 2011, there were 1,112 allegations* of physical and sexual abuse within the defence force.
The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART), established in 2012, received around 2,400 allegations of physical and sexual abuse. These allegations spanned every service within the force since the 1940’s.
The Royal Commission was contacted by 111 people relating to child sexual abuse cases. The three institutions covered by the Royal Commission were only covered due to their explicit relationship with children.
This doesn’t mean other bases and areas of the Defence Force didn’t experience a culture of physical and sexual abuse.
Here at Kelso Lawyers, we believe every victim of institutional abuse is important.
Your story should be heard.
We’ve summarised famous cases from each of the of the Australian Defense Force divisions below. Although the victim’s wounds are far from healed, they are one step closer to retribution by coming forward with their allegations.