People who have been or are being sexually assaulted can find it difficult to tell anyone about what has happened (or is still happening) to them. They might feel guilty or confused about the abuse, they might feel embarrassed or they may be worried that no one will believe them. They might also feel frightened of the person, who may be someone they know and who may have forced them to keep the abuse a secret.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted recently or in the past you can seek support from:
- a close friend or trusted family member
- a teacher, youth support worker, school guidance officer, doctor, health worker
- a support service (some national ones are listed below)
Support services have a lot of experience helping people who live with sexual violence, so even after talking with a friend or family member you might like to contact an organisation. They may be able to help you by providing counselling, legal support, referrals to health providers, information or just a friendly ear to talk to. They also provide support and information to friends and family members of sexual assault victims. Below are some national services that can help.
- Police (000 for emergencies, 131 444 for non-emergency contact in Qld)
- 1800RESPECT Call this number to access counseling delivered by qualified, experienced professionals 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It also works to offer advice and support to friends and family of victims
- Kid’s Helpline is a national helpline offering 24 hour phone and online support to young people
- MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support, information and referral service, helping men to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way