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I HAVE 
EXPERIENCED SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Sexual violence in any unwanted, coerced, or forced sexual act which you did not consent to. It can happen to anyone and it's not your fault. Nothing you said or did meant you deserved for this to happen. 

Sexual assault is about power and control, not sex. The offender is often someone you trusted such as an intimate partner, friend, family member, or someone you'd just met in a club or online. 

What if it happened a long time ago?

It doesn't matter whether your experience of sexual violence was yesterday or 50 years ago there are still a range of options and support available to you.

It is quite common for victim/survivors of sexual assault to take some time to speak out or come forward to report. This can be for many reasons, remember it was not your fault and you are not to blame.

Even if you were assaulted many years ago, you can still report it or talk to police, which will result in a historical investigation.

If you have been recently assaulted you also have the option of 'Just in case forensics' which can be conducted at the hospital.

If the incident is happening now or the offender is still near you, please contact triple Zero, 000.

Your options

It can be hard to decide what you want to do after an experience of sexual violence. Sometimes you might feel like you don't want to do anything or just try to forget it happened. Whether or not you choose to report to police you can still receive counselling and support.

 

If you are living on the Gold Coast:

  • You can call us on 5591 1164 (Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm) to discuss your options

 

If you are living in another part of Queensland or need support outside our office hours:

 

If you are anywhere in Australia and/or need support that is available 24 hours:

If you are in immediate danger please call 000

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1. Reporting to police

You can phone the police on 131444, or attend any police station to make a report. You can also make a report online which means the police will conduct an investigation which may result in court proceedings. 

A formal report may be accompanied by a forensic medical examination and initial interview at the hospital. 

You will be supported by a social worker at the hospital who will help you understand the process. The police and hospital can also refer you to us for follow up support. 

2. 'Just in case' forensics

You can request to have a forensic medical examination without reporting to the police.

 

The evidence collected during this exam is stored for 12 months in case you decide to report to police in the future.

 

(more info below) 

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3. Anonymous reporting

You can choose to provide police with the details of the assault anonymously through the Alternative Reporting Options (ARO) website

This will not result in a police investigation and does not require any court processes.

While no action will be taken but the information may assist police strategies to target offenders or reduce repeat offending. 

Learn more

4. No report

You can choose not to report the incident. Whatever decision you make you can still access counselling and support. 

You might also like to write down everything you can remember about the sexual assault or rape including:

• What happened

• Where it happened

• Who was there

• Any other details

More on 'Just in case' forensics

A forensic medical examination is best completed within 72 hours of the assault. After this time there may not be enough eveidence to proceed with the exam.

 

If you choose this option, a forensic medical examination will take place and any samples collected will be stored by Queensland Health's Forensic and Scientific Services. The samples will not be tested unless you proceed with a formal police statement within the next 12 months. ​

During the examination, you will be asked to briefly describe what happened to you and then a physical exam will be done to assess any injuries and collect any samples. This examination is done by a specially trained doctor or nurse using a Sexual Assault Investigation Kit (SAIK). Samples could be collected from your hair, skin, mouth, or private parts. 

Important points

  • Best completed within 72 hours of the assault

  • Collected samples are stored for 12 months, they are not tested during this time

  • It is your responsibility to contact police if you decide to make a formal report