Fresh Sex, Child Porn, Rape and Drug Scandals Rock Australian Defence Forces
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Fresh Sex, Child Porn, Rape and Drug Scandals Rock Australian Defence Forces

Sydney : Australia | Jan 12, 2012 at 7:41 AM PST
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Defence Force sex scandal

Report By: Nina Rai

Sydney, 12 Jan., 2012:

Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 proved to be a day of reckoning as fresh sexual scandal skeletons tumbled out of the Australian military closet. These include shocking allegations within its ranks of sexual assault, child porn, rape and drug-dealings.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, local Australian Channel Seven News managed to lay its hand on documents referred to as the “Hot Issues Brief” (HIB). It termed the details in the document as "ongoing, often major, breaches of discipline in Australia's armed forces."

The document listed out 100 plus incidents that has been reported in 2011 ranging from weapons mishaps to sexual assault cases, particularly relating to the naval forces. Accusations of misconduct are already being investigated on four Australian naval warships namely ‘HMAS Newcastle,’ ‘HMAS Diamantina,’ ‘HMAS Success’ and ‘HMAS Toowoomba.’

In two cases of alleged sexual assaults on ‘HMAS Newcastle’ and ‘HMAS Diamantina’ the matter has been handed over to the police. The HIB documents revealed that a senior officer on the ‘HMAS Success’ had filmed his sexual romps with junior female sailors. He was reported to the police. A female sailor on board the same ship just a few months back had alleged that she had been offensively assaulted by a male ship colleague during a visit to Singapore port.

On another vessel, the ‘HMAS Toowoomba,’ a female sailor spoke out against indecent assault, bullying, and harassment. This even consisted of an apparent "Beer Bounty" being placed on her. That is free beer offered for the first sailor to have sex with her. In addition to the above allegations, the HIB documents also contained a bunch of “child porn charges, drug dealing, and rape allegations", informs Channel Seven News.

There were also reports in other media, one which included a soldier charged with rape and stalking. Then there was the case of a Corporal charged with child abuse and scheduled to appear in court to face charges on the same. However, he was found dead just a little ahead of the said court appearance. All these revelations have added up to the military's unsavory reputation. Naturally the Australian Defence Forces is adversely hit in recent times by the series of allegations both old and new obnoxious and sexist behavior in its rank and file.

In a statement putting up a brave front, the Australian Defence force declared that it had "no tolerance for misconduct or security breaches” According to it, the Defence sector is a massive organization having a diverse workforce of nearly 103,000 members comprising both military and civilian members. It said any organization is judged by how soon it responds to any allegations. “Defence has responded promptly to these incidents, including referring criminal matters to relevant civil authorities,” the statement added.

Most of the unsavory incidents seem to have been simmering below the surface; however allegations against the defence force came to a head last year. This was when there was a report on sleazy incidents on board ‘HMAS Success’ in 2009, the findings of which indicated a sexually predatory and boozy culture hidden under silence and fear.

After this there was a high-profile case when a teen female cadet (18 years) who went to the press disclosing she had sex with a fellow defence academy batch mate. But he betrayed her by apparently making the encounter public on Skype so that his friends could see the same.

As if all the above incidents were not enough, another nail in the defence coffin, so to speak, was when a senior naval officer was jailed in December, 2011 for repetitively whacking a junior female sailor for what he claimed was assessment of her discipline and obedience level.

Meanwhile probably in a cleaning up bid, the Defence Minister Stephen Smith informed that his govt. had finished five reviews into defence force culture. These were pertaining to use of alcohol, social media, personal behavior, management of incidents and women's leadership pathways. "Defence is in the final stages of methodically considering the recommendations in the reports and is preparing a detailed implementation plan," he added.

Also a review is being conducted into the treatment of women throughout the Australian military which will give its report in 2012. Last year ABC news reported that a separate review, ordered by the Department of Defence, received more than 1,000 allegations of abuse. Reviews have even been ordered into the use of alcohol and social media in the military informs BBC.

Source: Vancouver Sun

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Claims of a sex scandal involving cadets has hit the Australian Defence Force.
Nina Rai is based in Mangaluru, Karnataka, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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