Support and Resources

Support and Resources

Support and Resources2024-07-08T13:41:04+11:00

Since the age of 15yo, 1 in 5 females have experienced sexual assault

93% of all victim survivors are female

Since the age of 15yo, 1 in 20 males have experienced sexual assault

Marginalised groups are twice as likely to experience sexual assault

Only 13% of all sexual assaults are reported

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any behaviour of a sexual nature that makes someone feel uncomfortable, frightened, intimidated or threatened.

It is sexual behaviour that someone has not agreed to, where another person uses physical or emotional force against them. It can include anything from sexual harassment through to life threatening rape. Some of these acts are serious indictable crimes.

The terms sexual assault and sexual abuse are often used interchangeably. Generally the term sexual abuse refers to abuse that has happened in childhood and has occurred more than once. Sexual assault is often used to describe one-off incidents of sexual assault in adolescence and adulthood.

What is consent?

Sexual consent is the act of giving agreement to engage in a sexual act with someone else.

The person giving consent must be free and able to give consent voluntarily. Things that might prevent this are their age, if they have been using alcohol or other drugs, or feeling threatened, coerced or intimidated into performing the sexual act.

Consent can be withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn, the sexual act should stop. This applies to people taking part is casual sexual acts with someone they don’t know well or people in relationships- including marriage.


Affirmative Consent legislation in Victoria, Australia came into effect July 30th, 2023.

Affirmative consent means that the person wanting to engage in the sexual act must actively ask for consent and both parties must agree to take part in a sexual act.

More information about consent can be found here:

Age of Consent in Victoria

Under 12 years old

Even if you agree, another person can’t:

  • have sex with you
  • touch you sexually, or get you to touch them sexually
  • perform a sexual act in front of you

12 to 15 years old

Even if you agree, a person who is more that 24months older than you can’t:

  • have sex with you
  • touch you sexually, or get you to touch them sexually
  • perform a sexual act in front of you

16 to 17 years old

Even if you agree, a person caring for you or supervising you (e.g. teacher, youth worker, foster carer) can’t:

  • have sex with you
  • touch you sexually, or get you to touch them sexually
  • perform a sexual act in front of you

18 years +

You and your partner must both consent to having sex – agreeing voluntarily and with a clear mind. It is more than saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It is about:

  • being the legal age to consent
  • feeling safe – having sex without pressure or fear
  • understanding – being sober and drug-free, being awake and in control, and not having a mental or physical disability that is so severe that it prevents you from understanding what is going on
  • not being from the same family – including half siblings and step siblings

Impacts of sexual assault

Impacts of sexual assault

The impact of sexual assault is determined by many factors and each survivor reacts to the experience in their own unique way. There is no right or wrong way to feel and no set time for when you should be feeling better. However, there are some common responses reported by survivors in terms of the impact of being sexually assaulted. These include impact on physical, emotional and psychological health as well as on behaviour and social relationships.

Some common symptoms that survivors may experience include:


  • Sleep disturbance, including nightmares, inability to sleep
  • Flashbacks
  • Feeling unsafe
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Feelings of anxiety, sadness, confusion, isolation and anger
  • Low mood
  • Feelings of grief and loss
  • You may find you no longer feel the same fulfilment from previously enjoyable activities

Charter of Victims’ Rights

As a victim of crime, you have rights. Victims’ rights are described in the Victims’ Charter. The Victims’ Charter is law in Victoria.

As a victim of crime, you have the right to:

  1. Be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity by all criminal justice and victim support services.
  2. Be given clear, timely and consistent information about your rights and entitlements and, if appropriate, be referred to victims and legal support services.
  3. Be told about the police investigation at key stages. In some cases, the police may not be able to give you all the details if it would jeopardise an investigation, in which case you should be informed accordingly.
  4. Be told about the prosecution, including charges laid and any substantial changes to charges, details of court dates and times when you are required as a witness or have indicated a wish to attend, court outcomes and any appeals lodged.
  5. Be told (if you request it) about the outcome of any bail application and any special conditions of bail which are intended to protect you. Your safety can also be taken into account when considering a bail application.
  6. Have the court process explained to you, including your role as a witness.
  7. As far as practicable, be protected from unnecessary contact with, and intimidation by, the accused and their family and supporters, as well as defence witnesses while you are at court.
  8. Prepare a Victim Impact Statement which may be considered by the court in sentencing the offender, and have access to the assistance you require to prepare a Victim Impact Statement.
  9. Have your personal information, including residential address and telephone number, not disclosed to anybody except in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2000.
  10. Have your property that is held for investigation or evidence stored and handled in a lawful, respectful and secure manner and, in consultation with you, returned as soon as practicable.
  11. If you are the victim of a violent crime, request that the court order the offender to pay you compensation. You may also apply for financial assistance from the Government for harm resulting from a violent crime.
  12. Apply to be included on the Victims Register if an adult offender is sentenced to prison for a violent crime against you, receive specific information regarding the release of the offender, and have your views taken into account by a Parole Board when any decision about parole of the offender is being considered.

If you would like to know more about your rights as a victim of crime, you can call the Victims’ Charter Enquiries and Complaints Line on 1800 118 728 or visit the Department of Justice’s Victims of Crime Victoria page.

If you have a complaint under the Victims’ Charter

The agencies who work with victims of crime do their best to provide a high standard of service. If you believe any of the principles of the Victims’ Charter have not been followed, however, you have the right to make a complaint.

To make a complaint, you can call the Victims’ Charter Enquiries and Complaints Line on 1800 118 728. An Enquiries and Complaints Officer will try to resolve your complaint by mediating between you and the agency or individual who is the focus of your complaint. In many cases, the matter can be sorted out very quickly and effectively.

If the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction, the Enquiries and Complaints Officer can also discuss your options about making a more formal complaint or written complaint to another complaints body.

An Enquiries and Complaints Officer is not able to change a decision made by a judge, magistrate or tribunal member, or investigate a complaint which is already being investigated by another agency or one which is not covered by the Victims’ Charter.

The immediate focus of the Enquiries and Complaints Line is on victims of violent crime.

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