National Military Compensation experts Slater and Gordon today said time had almost expired for Australian Defence Force personnel who have suffered sexual and other forms of abuse to come forward.
Australia’s leading military compensation lawyer, Brian Briggs said the May 31 cut-off date for new allegations of abuse that occurred before April 11, 2011 was less than a week away.
“We understand some people struggle with coming forward because they feel they don’t want to face that trauma again,” Mr Briggs said.
“But people also need to be aware that if they are considering doing so, the time to come forward is fast running out.
“Members of our defence force who have suffered abuse deserve to have some closure and it would be a tragedy if people were denied this opportunity simply because they had missed the crucial deadline.
Mr Briggs said hundreds of defence personnel had contacted Slater and Gordon since the Federal Government established the Taskforce in November, 2012 and in the months following the announcement of the Defence Abuse Reparation Scheme.
“We have already been helping people with claims,” Mr Briggs said.
“Whilst a reparation payment will never take away the pain and suffering, it may at least be a form of acknowledgment that what happened was wrong. There is also assistance being offered by way of medical expenses for counselling to help to deal with the trauma.
“It is vitally important that the taskforce be notified of potential claims by this Friday.
“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.”