For recent victim/survivors
If you have been recently sexually assaulted in Victoria:
- Get to a safe place.
- Contact someone who you trust and who can help; a friend or family member
- If you are injured or unsafe call an ambulance or the police on 000
- CASA/SACL provide a 24 hour service on 1800 806 292 or call SACL after hours on the emergency line 8345 3494.
- CASA or SACL can provide crisis counselling support and information which may assist you in making decisions about your medical and legal rights including the right to report to police, access to medical care or a forensic examination.
How could this have happened to me?
No one ever asks to be sexually assaulted. It is a traumatic, terrifying and overwhelming experience which involves the violation of human rights including the loss of personal safety, choice and control. No matter where you were or what you were wearing, sexual assault is a crime and no one ever deserves it. Responsibility rests solely with the offender.
What will happen when I contact the SACL?
Your call will be answered by a female counsellor/advocate who is specifically trained in the area of sexual assault. The worker will listen and believe you and offer support and information to assist you in exploring your feelings, concerns and options. You can remain anonymous if you wish and you can decide what you want to discuss. The 1800# is a free call from landlines but not from mobiles. If you call from a mobile and require a call back, ask the worker to call you back.
When can I report a recent sexual assault?
If you have been recently sexually assaulted and decide to report to police, it is best to do so as soon as possible. You can contact the police Sexual Offences and Child Investigation Teams (SOCITs) which are located throughout Victoria. The SOCIT police may arrange for you to undergo a forensic medical examination which has a 72hour time limit. The purpose of the examination is to gain evidence that may assist the police in their investigations. The Socit can also arrange for a CASA worker to attend and provide confidential crisis support to you.
If you are unsure about reporting you can still access crisis support from CASA/SACL 24hours a day by calling 1800 806 292 or our emergency line on 8345 3494.
When will I “get through this?”
People can overcome the effects of sexual violence though it may take time for things to get back to a sense of ‘normality’. Recovery from a traumatic event is a gradual process and it is important not to feel pressure to be anywhere else than where you are at right now. Give yourself the time that it may take to come to terms with what is happening for you and permission to prioritize your own needs.
How long does it take to recover?
There is no timeframe for recovering from trauma and loss associated with sexual assault. You may find that your needs change from day to day and that your moods fluctuate. Whatever you are feeling is a normal and totally valid response to what you have endured. You are the expert in your own life and you will get through this in your own time. Accessing support from a CASA worker or other counsellor can assist in your recovery.