ADF Abuse Lawyers

If you were abused within the Australian Defence Force, we want to hear from you.

adf soliders on a naval ship

As per the current regulations in Queensland (QLD) and Western Australia (WA), we are unable to display certain information about our legal services to people residing in those states. If you are located in QLD or WA, please click on this link to access information on ADF abuse law.

The Australian Defence Force has been a hotbed of physical and sexual abuse. Thousands of ex-servicemen and women were subjected to physical violence, sexual assaults and ongoing campaigns of harassment.

New recruits were often subjected to horrific violence and humiliating sexual assaults committed under the guise of ‘hazing’ or ‘initiation rituals’. Other offenders were opportunistic, using their seniority in the hierarchy to prey on men and women of a lower rank. 

For decades, children as young as 15 were admitted to ADF facilities such as HMAS Leeuwin and Balcombe Army Apprentice School, where they were at the mercy of hardened second and third-year apprentices. 

Kelso Lawyers has represented many individuals abused in these facilities, and their stories are truly horrifying.

Kelso Lawyers has also represented many brave women who experienced serious sexual abuse while serving our country. Their stories are harrowingly similar; they recount men, often senior men, coming into their living quarters at night and committing shocking acts of sexual violence against them. 

Many were too afraid to report what happened, and those who did were usually subjected to ongoing campaigns of bullying and harassment. In some cases, the women themselves were even charged after making reports. The ADF’s handling of such complaints was nothing short of disgraceful.

If you experienced abuse in the ADF, you might be entitled to compensation. We have pursued cases against the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy, and the Royal Australian Air Force.

Many survivors do not speak up for a long time. Often, they feared retribution from the offender, or else they would not be believed. Many blame themselves and live with feelings of shame and embarrassment that they should not have to carry. It is never your fault; often, the hardest step is to break the silence, reach out, find your voice and seek help.

Did you suffer abuse in the Army, Navy or Airforce? Click here to share your story with us; you may be eligible for compensation.

How to make a claim

The first step is to contact us for an initial consultation. This can be done via our online form or by contacting us to request a phone call from our client intake team. Your information is confidential and will be treated with the utmost care and discretion.

Our solicitors will then review your information, and we will be in touch for a free consultation to discuss how we can best assist you. We will discuss all your options with you, which may include court action, alternative dispute resolution or the National Redress Scheme

It is critical you get the right advice, as each option comes with various risks and benefits. You may cost yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars by not properly considering all your options.

If, after talking to us, you wish to proceed, we operate on a no-win-no-fee agreement, which we will explain in detail to you. Put simply, if we don’t successfully get you compensation, you won’t pay any legal fees.

Successful ADF compensation cases

We have pursued cases for abuse victims in all three branches of the ADF; the Army, Navy and Air Force. This includes abuse at notorious locations such as:


These are but a few; there are many more. 

It doesn’t matter where or when the abuse occurred; if you suffered abuse while serving in the ADF, we want to hear from you to see if we can help. Click here to share your story.

Feature Image: Pexels

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