15 Jun 2012

Royal Commission into military abuse tipped

12:50 pm on 15 June 2012

New information about abuse in the Australian Defence Force may force the federal government to consider a Royal Commission into the military culture.

Details of the abuse in the ADF came to light from a report on the subject which revealed serious sexual abuse of recruits as young as 13, from the 1950's.

The review was heavily censored when it was released in March, with only 10 pages of the executive summary made public.

But the ABC reports the full summary reveals horrific new details about the extent of abuse within the military.

It itemises a culture of covering up, failing to punish perpetrators, and hostility towards those who complain.

It includes almost 850 allegations, including child sex abuse and bastardisation. The earliest incident was in 1951.

The review says some perpetrators and witnesses could now have risen to positions in senior management of the SDF.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith says he is still considering how to respond, but does not discount the prospect of a Royal Commission.