South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

Recent sexual assault

For Female Survivors, Male Survivors, Workers, Young People

Tags: Rape

Author: South Eastern CASA

If you think you have been recently sexually assaulted and you are in the State of Victoria, Australia you can contact the Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL) on 1800 806 292 or the Victorian Police on 000, both of which are 24 hour services.

If you contact SACL you will be able to speak to a counsellor/advocate on the telephone about how you are feeling. You will be able to receive information in relation to medical and legal services and to discuss what you might like to do. The counsellor/advocate will be able to arrange for you to meet another counsellor/advocate face-to-face from the nearest Centre Against Sexual Assault.

The meeting will take place at a safe place. In some areas this will be in a major teaching hospital emergency department. The following will be available to you:

  • emotional crisis support;
  • information about medical and legal rights;
  • appointments for future counseling;
  • members of the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team Police if you wish to have them contacted;
  • a medical examination, either forensic or hospital based, if you wish;
  • a support person such as a friend, relative or counsellor/advocate.

You do not have to pursue any of the above options if you do not wish to do so. However, there are five important reasons why you may need medical attention.

  1. A medical examination is essential to determine whether you have been injured. Often, after a sexual assault you may be in a state of shock and not conscious of any injuries.
  2. Female survivors may require emergency contraception and wish to discuss the prevention of an unwanted pregnancy.
  3. HIV and Hep B Prophylaxis need to be administered within a short period of time of the likelihood of possible exposure to infection. A medical examination will enable you and the doctor to undertake a risk assessment of the possibility of infection.
  4. You may wish to make a follow up appointment for testing for sexually transmitted infections.
  5. If you wish to report the assault to the Police, forensic evidence will need to be collected for evidence purposes.

If you have been assaulted and are unsure as to the course of action you wish to take, come and talk to us and we will help you work out the best option for you. However, if you are undecided about legal action, it is better if you can:

  • resist the urge to shower, bath or douche;
  • try not to disturb the scene of the crime;
  • keep the clothes on that you were wearing during the assault;
  • not clean your teeth, drink or eat if there was oral penetration;
  • bring a change of clothes with you to meet the counsellor/advocate, if you would prefer to wear your own clothes, as your clothes may be kept for evidence. The CASA will be able to provide you with a change of clothes if you would prefer that.

Remember

  • It is never your fault.
  • You have a right to say "No" to sexual contact at any time.
  • The offender is always to blame.
  • Sexual assault is a crime but it is up to you whether you wish to report to the Police or not.
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