ADF dealing with 2400 abuse complaints back to 1940s

THE Defence Abuse Response Taskforce chairman Len Roberts-Smith said the taskforce had provided 1238 counselling sessions to 275 people who suffered abuse in the Australian Defence Force.

He said the taskforce was dealing with about 2400 complaints of abuse with the earliest abuse dating back to the 1940s.

"Given the abuse that they have suffered, it is not surprising that many complainants to the taskforce are living with mental health issues, which have never been properly dealt with until now," he said.

"We know that the talking about abuse can itself be distressing.

"This is something that the Taskforce Complainant Support Group, which provides one-on-one support to complainants, is acutely aware of and ensuring complainants have the support they need is our number one priority."

The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce was established as part of the Federal Government's response to the DLA Piper Review into allegations of sexual and other forms of abuse in the defence forces.

The taskforce was established to assess and respond to individual cases of abuse occurring before April 11, 2011.