Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC today urged people considering reporting an allegation of sexual and other abuse in Defence to do so before this Friday, 31 May.
On 26 November 2012, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce was established as part of the Government’s response to the DLA Piper Review into allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence.
The Taskforce is responsible for assessing individual allegations of abuse in Defence occurring before 11 April 2011.
The Government has asked the Taskforce to prioritise the serious abuse cases occurring at ADFA in the late 1990s and at HMAS Leeuwin.
The Taskforce will determine, in close consultation with those who have made complaints, appropriate outcomes in response to allegations of abuse in Defence. These outcomes could include a referral to counselling and possible restorative processes, including apologies from appropriate Defence officers, a reparation payment of up to $50,000, and referral of appropriate matters to police or military justice authorities.
In March, the Government announced that the cut-off for the Taskforce accepting new allegations of abuse that are alleged to have occurred prior to 11 April 2011 will be Friday, 31 May this year.
The Government encourages anyone who has experienced abuse prior to 11 April 2011 but who has not yet brought their case forward to consider doing so before close of business this Friday, 31 May.
All that is required by the cut-off date is that a person registers notice of their allegation with the Taskforce.
This may be done by contacting the Taskforce (via the hotline on 1800 424 991 or at DART [at] ag.gov.au), providing their contact details and indicating that they wish to bring a complaint to the Taskforce about alleged abuse in Defence prior to 11 April 2011.
Further information, including a copy of the Defence Abuse Reparation Scheme Guidelines, is available on the Taskforce website at: www.defenceabusetaskforce.gov.au.
Minister Smith’s office: Sacha Fenton (02) 6277 7800 or 0467 784 528
Mr Dreyfus’ office: Annie Williams (02) 6277 7300 or 0428 040 522