Information for people who have lodged an Intent to Report Defence Abuse
Reparation scheme closure
The Defence Abuse Reparation Scheme, under which the Defence Force Ombudsman (DFO) could recommend a reparation payment as part of its response to Defence abuse reports, has now closed for new applications.
However, if you lodged an Intent to Report Abuse which was received by the DFO on or before 30 June 2022 you may still be eligible for a reparation payment. If your intent to report abuse was received by the DFO on or before the 30 June 2022 cut-off, you would have received an acknowledgement email or letter with a 10-digit reference number (e.g. 2022-123456).
If you have an acknowledged Intent to Report abuse and have yet to lodge your report with the DFO, your report must be received by the DFO by midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) 30 June 2023. This page has information specific for you.
Submitting your Report
Your report must be received by the DFO by midnight (AEST). If your report is received after this deadline, we are unable to recommend reparation in connection to your report. If you are posting your report, please send it via registered post and lodge it at the post office to receive a proof of posting receipt to document that it has been sent prior to 30 June 2023.
You must report your experiences of serious abuse while employed by Defence to us in writing on our Reporting Abuse in Defence form.
- Reporting Abuse in Defence form - registered Intent to Report (Download PDF Version).
- Reporting Abuse in Defence form - registered Intent to Report (Download Word Version).
This form was updated in March 2023 and now contains two sections, Part A and Part B. If you have already completed a prior version of this form, you can still submit it. However, you will also need to complete a copy of the updated Consent form (below) and submit it along with your completed reporting form.
What to put in your report
We recommend that you put as much information as you can into your firsthand description of your experience. This is very important as we will not be able to add to your report after we have received it. The report that you submit is the report that will be assessed.
- If you have multiple incidents to report it is not necessary to complete multiple forms. You can put multiple incidents into the one form.
- If you cannot remember the names of people and dates – we understand – but the more detail you put in, the better we can assess your report. Please be as accurate as you can.
- Many people have voiced reticence in putting the names of those who have abused them into their report. We understand this concern but the more detail you put into your report – including the names of those who harmed you – the greater our ability to accurately assess your report.
- It is important that the copy of your identification is clear and that you have had the copy certified. In addition, please make sure you sign your statutory declaration before an authorised witness. Further information about how to certify your identification and who can act as an authorised witness can be found on page 5 of the reporting form.
- Please ensure that you have completed and signed the consent form (Part A of the report form). If you are using a reporting abuse form that is not dated March 2023 in the footer, please also include a separate completed and signed consent form (see Submitting your Report above). Without a signed consent form, a correctly witnessed statutory declaration and a clearly readable correctly certified identification, we will not be able to progress your report.
- Please ensure all documents you send through are clearly legible.
- Please do not send other forms of media – we cannot accept cd’s, video, taped recordings or voice recordings.
Sending in your report
All reports must be received by us by midnight AEST on 30 June 2023 to be eligible for a reparation payment.
When you are sending your report to us by email, you should address your email to DefenceForce.Ombudsman@Ombudsman.gov.au. Include the report and, if required, the separate consent form as an attachment. Please be aware that if your email exceeds 20 Mb in size, it will be rejected by our email system. If your report is greater than 20 Mb in size, it is likely it has been scanned at a very high resolution. Please scan it at a lower resolution to reduce the size. If you are sending supplementary documents, you may have to send multiple emails. Make sure your reference number is included in all emails.
Please remember to carefully type the email address and to include the dot between DefenceForce and Ombudsman in the email address. We cannot take responsibility for reports which are sent to an incorrect address and not received before midnight (AEST) 30 June 2023.
If you are sending your report through the post, please send it via registered post and lodge it at the post office to receive a proof of posting receipt including a tracking number. We cannot take responsibility for reports lost in the post.
Once you send in your report, you should receive an automated email acknowledging the receipt of the email you sent to us. You should then receive an email giving you a registration number of your report but please note this second email may take up to 3 months to be sent to you depending on the volume of reports received near the deadline.
Support with completing your report
If you are requiring support in filling out your report, please contact your local RSL Advocate. RSL Advocates are experienced in both Defence matters and completing these reports.
Receiving updates on your report
To better address the high volume of reports we are receiving, we have re-deployed most of our liaison staff so they are now working to process and assess reports. This means we will no longer be able to respond to individual queries about the status of your report. We understand that reporting abuse creates anxiety and concern for many reportees once that information is with us. We will contact you once there is an outcome, but we will not be able to update you as your matter progresses.
Overall, our assessments are usually finalised and submitted to Defence with a recommendation within 12-18 months of the report being submitted. However, due to the very high number of reports that we are receiving, this process may take in excess of 24 months.