Sexual assault can happen to anyone and nobody ever deserves to be sexually assaulted. Recent Australian research suggests that more men are sexually assaulted after they turn fifteen years of age than before. It is also estimated that the occurrence of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Australia may be as high as one in three women and one in six men. Disclosing the experience childhood sexual abuse is a difficult and complex process that is often delayed with some research indicating that just 30% of child abuse victims disclose during childhood.

If you have recently been sexually assaulted you should immediately contact the police as well as seek immediate medical attention. Do not wash, do not to disturb the crime scene and keep the clothes on that you were wearing during the assault.

Sexual assault is a very serious criminal offence and it is it is possible that the police will lay charges against the assailant however they will generally not proceed with investigations or laying of charges without consent.

The Police may require a forensic medical examination aimed at gathering evidence which would be carried out by a medical doctor looking for evidence of any injuries, such as bruising, collects body fluids that could identify the assailant as well as to screen for drugs to prove if the victim was drugged during the offence.

Sexual assault can affect people in the following ways: emotional shock, disbelief, embarrassment, shame, guilt, depression, powerlessness, disorientation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety and anger. These difficulties may pass with time but it is normally advisable to seek professional help promptly. Meanwhile, try to talk about what happened with people you trust,  aim to get back your feeling of control, don’t blame yourself and don’t allow others to blame you.

In Victoria all victims of a crime, including sexual assault, can apply for Victim’s Compensation, even when an assailant has not been identified. Furthermore, if you have not reported the crime promptly and are among the 70% of individuals who report sexual abuse later in life, you may still be able to able to seek assistance.

For further advice and support contact Victims of Crime Counselling and Compensation Services on freecall 1800 000 055 or email:

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