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National military law experts Slater and Gordon have urged Australian Defence Force personnel who have suffered sexual and other forms of abuse to come forward before the May 31 deadline announced today in order to be considered for the reparation scheme.
Prominent military law lawyer, Brian Briggs, said the Federal Government had announced a cut-off date for accepting new allegations about abuse alleged to have occurred before April 11, 2011.
“Anyone who misses next month's May 31 deadline may be ineligible for the Defence Abuse Reparation Scheme,” Mr Briggs said.
“Members of our defence force who have suffered abuse deserve to have their complaints dealt with. It would be an injustice for people to be left out simply by missing a claim deadline. Those affected by abuse must act now.
“The establishment of this scheme has been a watershed moment for many in the military and comes after years of inaction.
“These measures may give members of the ADF the opportunity to access ex gratia payments, counselling and medical assistance to help them deal with the very serious trauma they have suffered.
“I understand it can be difficult to come forward and people often wrestle with the decision for months, but I would urge anyone in this situation to register to protect their interests.
"Current and former defence force personnel should contact the government’s taskforce hotline on 1800 424 991, email DART@ag.gov.au or contact a legal representative who will register details on your behalf.”