Pathway to Change
DLA Piper Review of allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence
On 26 November 2012, the Minister for Defence, the Hon Stephen Smith MP, announced the Government’s response to the DLA Piper Review of allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence. The response includes:
- The apology delivered in Parliament to members of the Australian Defence Force or Defence employees who have suffered sexual or other forms of abuse in the course of their employment.
- Counselling services for complainants.
- The establishment of the independent Defence Abuse Response Taskforce.
- Access to a capped reparation scheme.
- A free telephone hotline so that complainants can access information about the Government’s response (1800 424 991).
More information on the DLA Piper Review, including the Full Report of Volume One, is available here.
Contacting the Taskforce
The independent Defence Abuse Response Taskforce will assess allegations of sexual and other abuse – such as bullying, harassment and intimidation – (and related matters) which occurred in Defence before 11 April 2011. You can raise a new allegation with the Taskforce providing the incident occurred prior to 11 April 2011, the date the DLA Piper inquiry was announced.
Allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence occurring after 11 April 2011 will be addressed through existing mechanisms, including Defence’s internal workplace complaints systems, prosecuting authorities, the Defence Force Ombudsman and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The simplest process for those who have raised an allegation, or those who wish to do so, is to contact the Government’s free telephone hotline on 1800 424 991.
The cut-off date for raising an allegation with the Taskforce is 31 May 2013.
More information on the Taskforce is available on the website at:
Support to current and former Defence personnel (and their immediate family members) affected by the DLA Piper Review and/or Defence Abuse Response Taskforce
Current or former ADF personnel, Defence APS employees and immediate members of their families who are experiencing distress or otherwise feel they require assistance are encouraged to access one of the following counseling services:
Currently serving ADF personnel can call the All Hours Support Line (ASL) on 1800 628 036. The ASL is a confidential telephone service that can help ADF members and their immediate family members access mental health services, including psychology, medical, social work and chaplain services.
Current Defence APS employees can call the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) on 1300 361 008. The EAP is a confidential and free service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help Defence APS employees and their immediate family members gain access to counselling services.
Former ADF personnel and former Defence APS employees can also call the EAP on 1300 361 008 (option 2). Special arrangements have been made to extend the EAP service for immediate, initial counselling to former ADF personnel, former Defence APS employees and their immediate family members.
Counselling is also available to eligible ADF members and their families through the VVCS (Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service) on 1800 011 046. It is a free and confidential service, available 24 hours a day across Australia.