Current and former LGBTI defence personnel who have suffered abuse should come forward, defence LGBTI advocates say.
The call comes as Defence Minister Stephen Smith released a 1500-page report on the first phase of a review exposing allegations of sexual and other forms of abuse from 847 defence members.
The report, prepared by law firm DLA Piper, said incidents ranged from extremely serious to relatively minor and as far back as the 1950s.
Defence LGBTI Information Service (DEFGLIS) board member Vince Chong said the report considered that there were still many defence members who had not reported abuse.
“DEFGLIS is encouraging any current serving and former LGBTI members of Defence who have suffered abuse to come forward and participate in following phases of the review into abuse in the ADF,” Chong said.
He said unreported abuse could impact the reconciliation process and the next phase of the review which could represent “the best opportunity to address past unresolved abuse”.
“The DEFGLIS board and I support the review and the likely follow-on phases because issues from past must be dealt with for cultural change to be successful,” he said.
“It must be clear that victims of any future abuse can reasonably expect to have access to necessary support and swift resolution. It must also be clear that there are consequences for perpetrators of abuse, which will act to deter abusive behaviour in the first place.”
Smith first announced the sweeping review in April last year following the ‘Skype scandal’ allegations.
The allegations found a female cadet was filmed without her knowledge during sex and the footage was transmitted via Skype to other cadets at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
In December last year, 40 defence personnel escaped punishment for joining a gay-hate group on Facebook.
After a 12-month Defence Department investigation no charges were laid against any of the ADF members involved in the Facebook group which outed some gay defence personnel and labelled them “pillow-biters” and “bum bandits”.
Those involved were given written warnings and told to make sure their social networking security settings were in place.