The Australian military will face investigation for alleged sexual offences. This follows complaints pertaining to alleged sex assaults within the military ranks. The latest allegation has come from a member of Australia’s Special Air Service (SAS) regiment. The trooper claimed that he was subjected to brutal sexual assault while attending a secretive training program at an elite unit in 2006.
The victim, Evan Donaldson, came to Canberra to speak to the federal politicians. He explained the sexual assault ordeal he endured in the units and the hard dealings with the military bureaucracy.
The trooper said he suffered horrific injuries in 2006, while undergoing a secretive program called “conduct after capture” by SAS. Narrating one specific incident, Donaldson said, he was blindfolded, handcuffed and put on a thin hospital gown. For asking permission to go to the toilet, he was brutally attacked by an instructor.
“I remember partially tripping in one instance because I couldn’t see where I was going. Of course they have to escort you and one of the guards assaulted me with his knee to my buttocks, which resulted in a tear and bleeding,” Trooper Donaldson told ABC News. Donaldson said he was afflicted with traumatic stress disorder after those sexual assault incidents. It was further compounded by his stressful dealings with the military bureaucracy.
Donaldson also complained about the bid to destroy his military identity documents. In 2009, his identity was stolen while being posted in Afghanistan. That led to his loss of rank and removal from the unit. After many attempts, in February 2014, Donaldson was able to submit his original documents to the Defence Minister to prove his identity. He also named a dozen of senior ADF Officers and Department of Defence bureaucrats who harassed him. He is seeking compensation for the debts he incurred as a result of lost wages and legal bills.
The Department of Defence refused to comment except for a statement saying the trooper must sign a privacy consent form.
Meanwhile, independent senator Jacqui Lambie lashed out at the top brass of Australian defence force and the politicians for covering up sexual assaults. She also accused the Army top brass of trying to tarnish Evason’s career. According to the Senator, senior army officers tried to strip him off his rank, wages and also ran a misinformation campaign against him, reports The Guardian.
Lambie launched a scathing attack in the Senate and also mentioned the plight of former army officer Marcus Saltmarsh. The Senator said Saltmarsh case had been the “subject of extraordinary abuse of office by senior members of the Australian army.”