A Royal Commission into abuse within the Australian Defence Force has heard graphic claims of navy cadets forced to rape one other, as well as details of a young girl who committed suicide after her dishonourable discharge.
Counsel assisting the Commission Angus Stewart SC said the 15 year year old cadet, Eleanore Tribble, was threatened with a dishonourable discharge on fraternisation charges over a relationship with a 30 year old instructor.
She committed suicide in 2000. The ADF had not informed her it was no longer pursuing charges.
The commission also heard young male cadets had been ignored when they complained about hazing rituals that included them being forced to perform oral and anal sex upon each other.
According to the evidence, the claims were dismissed as pranks between young men.
The commission was also told a practice known as 'nuggeting' had had severe long term effects on some of its victims.
On Tuesday, the opening day of a two-week royal commission hearing into the ADF's handling of abuse allegations across all its services - army, navy and airforce - Graeme Frazer, a former navy cadet, told how he was 'nuggeted', being held down while his genitals were smeared with boot polish and scrubbed with a hard bristled brush.
He told the royal commission how it took 36 years before the Navy and the Department of Defence acknowledged the systemic abuse at the naval training base HMAS Leeuwin in Perth.
Mr Frazer, who was knocked unconscious while being forced to run a gauntlet and subject to the painful initiation ritual, has suffered lifelong physical and psychological damage because of the abuse.
Mr Frazer said he twice reported the abuse to a senior officer at Leeuwin but was told it was a "rite of passage in the real Navy".
He felt he was picked on because he was short and colour blind, which meant he had difficulty with the flag exercises.
When he finished his training at Leeuwin, he served 12 years at HMAS Albatross in Nowra and reached the rank of leading seaman before he left.
Mr Frazer told the commission he went on to study at the University of Sydney and worked as a social worker but began to have health problems including crippling anxiety.
He went to a rehabilitation centre and revealed the abuse for the first time.
He was advised to approach the Department of Veteran's Affairs and make a claim under the Military Compensation and Rehabilitation Service (MCRS) through the DVA for injuries, anxiety and depression.
The MCRS twice rejected his claim, saying there was nothing on his personnel file from Leeuwin.
He appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal which in 2004 overturned the MCRS finding and found said there was a culture of "bullying, harassment, intimidation, bastardisation, victimisation and violence at Leeuwin".
The MCRS continued to challenge the compensation amount, Mr Frazer said.
He said institutions like the DVA appeared to understand the type of abuse he received was wrong "but their processes make it very hard for survivors to claim compensation because of the level of proof they require".
He also said there were some people in Defence "who still think it is OK to break people down by whatever means necessary" and he hoped that would change in the future.
It was not until 2013 when he went to the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, set up after an investigation into Leeuwin, that the abuse was finally acknowledged.
Prior to that there had never been an acknowledgment "never mind an apology", he said.
He is one of 14 survivor witnesses giving evidence at the commission, which will also hear from former officers of HMAS Leeuwin.