Members of Defence can now use the Defence Force Ombudsman to report sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and serious bullying and harassment within Defence.
On 1 December 2016, the Defence Force Ombudsman commenced its new function of receiving reports of serious abuse from serving and former Defence members and civilians deployed on operations overseas.
The role of Defence Force Ombudsman is performed by the Commonwealth Ombudsman to ensure its independence from Defence and offers a free and independent complaints mechanism for serving and former Defence members.
While the Defence Force Ombudsman encourages use of Defence’s internal mechanisms to report abuse, reports can be made directly to the Defence Force Ombudsman, even if the matter has not already been reported to Defence.
All reports of abuse will be considered, no matter how old and staff will support current and former personnel through the process of making a report.
Reports can be made confidentially as the Defence Force Ombudsman recognises that abuse and mistreatment of serving LGBTI members has occurred and may still be continuing.
For more information call 1300 395 776 or visit ombudsman.gov.au.
On 17 May 2017, the Defence Force Ombudsman office will proudly be supporting International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Created in 2004, this day draws the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally. Follow the Defence Force Ombudsman on social media for updates @CwealthOmb or facebook.com/commonwealthombudsman/
Original Source: Spokesperson for the Defence Force Ombudsman