Sexual abuse and assault: getting help
If you are in immediate danger, phone 000 (Triple Zero) or go to the emergency department at your local hospital.
If you’ve just experienced sexual violence, get yourself to a safe place as soon as possible and:
- phone the police and ambulance on 000 (Triple Zero)
- go to the emergency department at your local hospital
- phone the Sexual Assault Helpline on 1800 010 120 (7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days).
These services can help you by providing referral to free counselling and support and medical care, including:
- emergency contraception
- medical examinations
- testing for sexually transmissible infections (STIs).
If you’re thinking of reporting the attack to the police, do not change your clothes, comb your hair or wash yourself. This may remove evidence.
If you decide to have a medical examination, the medical officer:
- can gather evidence in case you decide to file a report with the police and proceed with legal action
- will talk with you and check how you’re feeling
- will discuss the possibility of pregnancy and STIs.
If you think you may be at risk of pregnancy, you could talk to a doctor about emergency contraception.
No one asks or deserves to be a victim of sexual violence. If you were attacked or abused, you are not to blame.
Where to get support
The after-effects of a trauma can be painful and confusing. You may find it helpful to:
- talk to supportive people like friends, family or counsellors
- read or watch videos about sexual violence and its effects
- write down your feelings.
Services are available to help you deal with the short-term and long-term effects of sexual violence:
- For free counselling or support, contact a sexual assault service.
- Brisbane Rape and Incest Survivors Support Centre (BRISSC) provides individual and group support to women 15 years and over who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives. The service is open from Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm. Their telephone support line - 07 3391 0004 - is open between 9am to 1pm on the same days.
- Living Well offers support to men who have been sexually abused or assaulted, including face-to-face and online counselling. You can also get phone counselling support on 07 3028 4648.
Women's Infolink on phone 1800 177 577 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) offers information and referral services including:
- find a support service—search for contact details of services relevant to Queensland women and girls
- counselling and support groups
- the 24-hour Statewide Sexual Assault Helpline on phone 1800 010 120
- free, confidential domestic and family violence advice and support through the 24-hour DVConnect service on phone 1800 811 811
- Zig Zag Young Women’s Resource Centre on phone 07 3843 1823
- Immigrant Women’s Emergency Support Service on phone 07 3846 3490.
For help and information on health matters, contact:
- Women’s Health Queensland Wide Inc on phone 1800 017 676, 07 3216 0376 or TTY 07 3831 5508
- 13 HEALTH (24-hour service) on phone 13 Health (13 43 25 84).
If you need to speak to someone about child abuse contact:
- the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services After Hours Service (previously known as Crisis Care) on phone 1800 177 135 or 07 3235 9999 (24-hour service)
- Kids Helpline on phone 1800 55 1800 (24-hour service), email a counsellor, or access web chat counselling (open 7 days, 8am to midnight AEST).
According to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 sexual harassment is any:
- unwelcome physical touching
- sexual or suggestive comments, jokes or taunts
- unwelcome requests for sex
- display of sexual material (e.g. photos or pictures)
- sexual reading matter (e.g. emails, faxes or letters).
Find out more about identifying and preventing harassment.
If you have experienced violence, assault or stalking you should report this directly to the police.