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Oz: Thousands of Claims of Sexual Abuse in Military Being Probed

by Kathy Jones on March 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM
 Oz: Thousands of Claims of Sexual Abuse in Military Being Probed

After a preliminary assessment by a legal firm, Australia's military is facing investigation into accusations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. The firm was set up in 2011 following a scandal.

In that incident, two cadets from the Australian Defence Force Academy were accused of clandestinely filming a female cadet during her private intimate moments and sharing it on the Internet later. This particular incident fueled a series of other reviews into the military.

The lawyers looked into more than 1,000 claims of mistreatment by military staff going back 50 years, and found 775 reasonable allegations of abuse, The BBC reports.

The lawyers have suggested a compensation scheme, a regret to victims and a royal commission investigation.

The firm received such a high number of claims that the review had to be extended. The earliest claim dates back to 1951 and was made by a man in his seventies who was a 13-year-old cadet at the time.

One of the reviews looked into the handling of the cadet's complaint by the head of the academy, Commodore Bruce Kafer.

He was accused of allowing a hearing against a female cadet, who herself was facing separate disciplinary matters at the time of the incident

Kafer was temporarily redeployed last year while the review took place, but the report cleared him of any transgression and said he should be restored.

The other reports commissioned by the defence minister covered a range of facets of the culture of Australia's military, including alcohol consumption and the use of social media.

In the defence department's response to the reports, Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture, the department accepted that cultural changes needed to be made.

Source: ANI
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