Australia’s government has apologised to hundreds of victims who suffered abuse within the country’s military.
The official apology came in a statement to parliament following an independent inquiry. It uncovered more than 700 plausible allegations of sexual, physical and mental abuse within the armed forces since 1951, clearing the way for victims to receive compensation.
“Today as Minister for Defence, I deliver an apology on behalf of the government to the men and women of the Australian Defence Force who have suffered sexual or other forms of abuse in the course of service to the Australian Defence Force and their country,” said Australian Defence Minister, Stephen Smith.
The minister acknowledged the members of the military had suffered the abuse often by superiors under the excuse of toughening up younger recruits. The official apology was added to by the commander of the military.
The independent inquiry was commissioned following a sex scandal at a military academy last year.