The Give Where You Live Foundation is proud to partner with The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre and our Wellbeing Sponsor Ramsey Property Group to provide support and resources for guests attending our first Conversations That Matter event with Grace Tame.
The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre provide support to all people impacted by sexual assault and women and children impacted by family violence, whether that be crisis care, response, intervention and education or primary prevention. The following information has been provided by The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre:
Sexual assault and child sexual abuse is never the fault or responsibility of the victim survivor
The most important thing to remember is that sexual assault and child sexual abuse is not your fault. The only person in the wrong is the person who assaulted you. While the journey to recovery from sexual assault and child sexual abuse can feel overwhelming, you don’t have to face it alone, there are people available to help and support you.
How others respond can make a big difference
It takes courage for someone to share their story of a sexual assault and child sexual abuse. How you respond and offer your support to a friend or family member can make a big difference. If they feel supported and encouraged, they may feel stronger to speak out and seek information to make informed decisions. The most important thing you can do is listen without judging, respect their decisions, don’t overstep their boundaries and help them find ways to feel supported.
- Make yourself available
- Ask what support they would find helpful and respect their choices
- Know where to point someone for assistance and your reporting obligations for child sexual abuse
Support is available
There is no time limit on when you can seek support for sexual violence. Specialist sexual assault services provide free and confidential support, including crisis support services, therapeutic counselling for adults and children, support groups and coordinated care to women, children, young people, men and gender diverse people.
When you contact a specialist sexual assault service, you will:
- Be heard and supported
- Be shown respect, sensitivity and understanding
- Be informed of your rights
- Receive accurate and relevant information to support your choices
- Be in control of your decision making
- Have privacy and confidentiality
Specialist sexual assault services also provide information, support and counselling to family members, partners and friends of individuals who have experienced sexual assault. If you are the parent or carer of a young person under 18 years of age who is attending a sexual assault service, you are able to receive counselling support.
Sexual assault is a serious and widespread issue, and it is preventable
Sexual violence is prevalent across Australia and continues to be a serious concern for our community. Since the age of 15, approximately 1 in 6 women and 1 in 25 men have experienced sexual violence across their lifetime. Evidence shows that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced sexual harassment.
While sexual violence is prevalent, it is also preventable, and we all have a role to play. As a community we must come together to change cultural attitudes that condones violence against women, to support victims of sexual violence, validate their experience as unacceptable, hold those responsible as accountable and reduce victim blaming and stigma that causes harmful attitudes and beliefs.
We must also promote women’s independence and decision-making in public life and relationships, build new social norms that foster personal identities not constrained by rigid gender stereotypes and support men and boys to develop healthy masculinities and positive, supportive male peer relationships. Because the drivers of violence play out at every level of society, these prevention actions also need to be implemented at every level of society.
Consent and free agreement to sex
Sexual consent is when you both actively and freely agree to do something sexual. Consent is all about communication. Active consent means that you and your partner give each other a clear and explicit ‘yes’ to the sexual activity you are about to be involved in. The absence of a ‘no’ isn’t enough.
- Sexual assault covers other sexual acts without consent – it’s a serious crime
- Checking for consent is always your responsibility
- Anyone can stop consent at any time – no matter how far the sexual activity
- A person cannot consent to sex if they’re a child or outside the age of consent, asleep, unconscious, so affected by drugs or alcohol they have no way of freely agreeing, unable to understand the sexual nature of what is happening, submit because of force or fear of force or harm (including to someone else), are held against their will or are mistaken about the identity of the other person
- The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre 03 5222 4318 email@example.com
- Barwon Multidisciplinary Centre 03 5222 4318
- Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24/7) 1800 806 292
- Orange Door 1800 312 820
- Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
- Bethany Community Support 03 5278 8122.
- Bethany has also created a new resource ‘Little eyes, little ears’ to support children living with family violence. Download it here.
- Safe Steps 1800 015 188
- 1800RESPECT 1800 737 732
- Emergency Police 000
Sexual assault is a form of trauma
The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre is Geelong’s specialist service provider. We welcome calls from anyone who is concerned about their own circumstances or that of someone they know or care for. We provide consultation to schools, childcare centres, workplaces, or other professionals. We provide advice and information to community members and training to groups and employers.
We offer a range of group programs including an accessible online ‘Body and Mind’ program, a series of therapeutic videos that help you understand and manage the impact of trauma on your body and mind, and supports physical, cognitive and emotional skills and strategies for increasing your self-awareness, calming your body and mind, and enhancing your day-to-day living.