From: Defence Media Centre
Date: Fri 17/05/2013 2:41 PM

Minister for Defence notice

DEFENCE ABUSE RESPONSE TASKFORCE

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, restorative engagement, possibly including apologies from appropriate senior-level Defence personnel, a Reparation Payment of up to $50,000, and/or referral of appropriate matters to police or military justice authorities.

The Minister for Defence has announced that 31 May 2013 will be the cut-off date for the Taskforce accepting new allegations about abuse in Defence. 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@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 is available on the Taskforce website at: www.defenceabusetaskforce.gov.au.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046.