Dutch teenage soldier abused sexually, top brass covered up


This August 2016 video from the USA is called 12 Harrowing Stories About Military Sexual Assault.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant:

Defense department covered up abuse of soldier

For the first time, a male victim of sexual abuse in the armed forces is telling his story. The abuse took place at the Royal Military School, and was covered up by the senior officers.

By Maud Effting and Willem Feenstra, September 15, 2017, 20:27

The armed forces covered up an abuse case at the Royal Military School (KMS) in Weert in 1982. A male soldier, attacked by five soldiers and abused sexually by one of them, was sent away by the platoon command when he reported the incident. The perpetrators still have impunity. Three of them still work in the armed forces, two of them in high ranks.

In an interview with the Volkskrant that will be in tomorrow’s printed edition and will be online, former soldier Ronald Vreeburg (52) tells about the abuse, the subsequent cover up and the far-reaching consequences for his life. His story is largely confirmed by three (former) fellow soldiers.

It is for the first time that a male soldier in the Netherlands tells so openly about abuse. In the USA and England, in recent years, men in the military have been increasingly victims of sexual abuse. In the USA, even more than half of the victims of abuse in the army are male.

According to experts, this disclosure can serve as a catalyst for other male (former) soldiers who have experienced sexual abuse. Abuse scandals in the sports world and in the Catholic church also came to light after individuals had broken the silence. …

On one evening in June 1982, five soldiers entered the group room of then 17-year-old Vreeburg. According to the ex-soldier, they overpowered him, took off his clothes and bound him with belts to his bed. While four soldiers overpowered him, the fifth one abused him sexually. …

Despite the Defense Department campaigns against sexually transgressive behaviour, this behaviour in the army is still more common than in many other organizations. Sexual abuse of female soldiers has been reported several times. Rarely, however, investigations are specifically aimed at abuse of men.

Most male soldiers abusing other male soldiers are heterosexual, psychologist says.

UPDATE: after 35 years, the Vreeburg case will be investigated at last.

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