Australian Defence Force male recruits share stories of forced sodomy to Royal Commission

Mother of female teen recounts suicide due to horrific sex acts done by instructor
By @vitthernandez on
Australian Soldiers
Two Australian soldiers cast shadows on a monument for soldiers during the dawn service to mark the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) commemoration ceremony at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, France, April 25, 2016. Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

Horror stories about sexual abuse of teen recruits to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) continue to surface two years after the sexual abuse on 207 male teens from 1960 to 1984 while aboard HMAS Leeuwin came out. On Tuesday, the mother of a female teen recruit described the horrific sex acts done on her daughter which led the 15-year-old to commit suicide.

Susan Campbell told the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse that being distraught over the possibility of being discharged led her 15-year-old daughter, Eleanor Tibble, to commit suicide in 2000. The ADF threatened to dishonourably discharge Tibble after she was accused of “fraternisation charges” because of her sexual relationship with a 30-year-old male instructor.

However, ADF had failed to inform the teen it was no longer pursuing the charges. The probe now covers the conduct of the ADF Cadets division beginning 2000 as well as how apprentices at Leeuwin and Balcombe, and RAAF Wagga Wagga, Puckapunyal and Kaooka were treated prior to 2000, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Among the practices that the commission would investigate, according to Vice Admiral Raymond Griggs, vice chief of the ADF, are “blackballing” and “nugetting.” It involves smearing the genital or anal areas of the recruits with boot polish and toothpaste using a hard brush while they are held down.

Also being probed are the “royal flush” in which heads of recruits are flushed in a toilet after it had been used and “gotcha” where genitals of recruits are pinched while taking a shower.

A male recruit at Leeuwin in 1967 told the commission on Tuesday that he was forced to either perform fellatio or lick the anus of another recruit after that recruit had been sodomised by an older recruit with semen still inside the colon. He also shared that he had several times been anally raped by another junior recruit or he sodomised other junior recruits on order of officers.

The inquiry includes abuse on cadets who attended the Army Apprentice School in Balcombe, Victoria, from 1970 through 1980, reports The Herald Sun.

According to the Encyclopedia of Children’s Health, 31 percent of rape victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder which has recurrent memories, nightmares, insomnia, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, depression, anxiety and panic attacks among its symptoms. One in 10 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted would try suicide and 50 percent are diagnosed with phobias, depression, substance abuse and other psychological disorders.

VIDEO: Effects of Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment on the Army Profession