Victims of abuse in the defence force are being urged to come forward before tonight’s midnight deadline to register their complaint with a government-appointed taskforce.

”We are urging everyone to come forward. People are still coming out of the woodwork and we expect there are still many more out there,” said Jennifer Jacomb, a former navy member who runs a group for victims of defence abuse.

”It takes a lot of effort to come forward because you bury it so deep.”

The taskforce will examine individual cases and also advise the government on any systemic problems it uncovers within the Australian Defence Force.

Victims stand to receive up to $50,000 in reparation money. The taskforce, headed by respected former judge Len Roberts-Smith, will also refer cases to police if they believe there is a chance for criminal prosecution.

Adair Donaldson, legal partner with Shine Lawyers, who is representing many alleged victims of abuse, said the taskforce could be one of the last chances victims get to have their voices heard.

”If they don’t register, they may find they don’t get another chance,” he said.

Victims need only register with the taskforce by the midnight deadline, not to give details of their complaints. The cutoff is midnight and the complaints can be registered through a hotline, 1800 424 991 or at [email protected]

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