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Electric Shock Treatment, Overt Homophobia in U.K. Armed Forces: Report

Electric Shock Treatment, Overt Homophobia in U.K. Armed Forces: Report

<p>Electric Shock Treatment, Overt Homophobia in U.K. Armed Forces: Report</p>

Details from a report due out next month paint a culture of “overt homophobia” in the country’s military.

An upcoming government report on homophobia in the U.K. armed forces will show a climate of blatant homophobia, incidents of blackmail and sexual assaults, and a campaign of drugs and electric shock treatment to “cure” LGBTQ+ service members of their homosexuality.

The report, which covers 1967 to 2000, when the country’s ban on LGBTQ+ service members ended, is set for release next month and an advance copy was seen by Bloomberg. Commissioned last year by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the report contains over a thousand anonymous submissions from individuals who served in the U.K. military between 1967 to 2000. Terence Etherton, the independent or crossbench member of the House of Lords who led the investigation, said many service members were left “severely traumatized” by their experienced.

The accounts from former service members “paint a vivid picture of overt homophobia at all levels of the armed forces...and of the bullying that inevitability reflected it,” Etherton said.

Many veterans said they were told they had to take medication and undergo psychiatric treatment to remain in the military. One person said his treatment took place while he was seated on a toilet and the medical staff questioning him were drinking beer. Another said they had electrodes placed on their head and received electric shocks when shown naked pictures.

“I had some type of bruising/burn marks where they put the electrodes,” the unnamed person revealed in the report.

Other accounts reportedly detail how LGBTQ+ service members were singled out for abuse. One female veteran said she was assaulted by two male service members, then placed in a psychiatric ward and later discharged when she complained. Another said her superior threatened to have her discharged for being gay if she reported his attempt at raping her. Others reported being followed by military police, having military police show up at local gay bars.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense declined to comment on the specifics of the report.

“We are proud of our LGBT+ veterans and grateful for their service in defense of our nation,” a government spokesperson said.
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