Secret report highlights theft, bullying and sexual assault at Oranje barracks


Problems at the Oranje military barracks in Schaarsbergen near Arnhem are more serious than thought, with widespread theft and soldiers regularly using drugs and bringing in prostitutes, the Volkskrant said on Thursday.

The paper bases its claim on a confidential ministry of defence report written in 2015 which highlights the risk new recruits face of being bullied, excluded and subjected to sexual assault. In total, 40 soldiers were interviewed by the report’s compilers.

The Volkskrant broke the story of the situation at the barracks last month, when three soldiers described the abuse they had suffered – including rape – in 2013.

One told the Volkskrant: ‘when a group is peeing all over you and the sergeant simply laughs, you just don’t know what you are doing any more.’

Three (former) soldiers have since been arrested in connection with those assaults and the military has opened an abuse hotline.

Despite assurances by senior officers that action has been taken, military unions say this is not the case and that more complaints have been made in 2016 and 2017.

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