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The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7 counselling service for anyone working in Australian music or...


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Are you a victim of sexual abuse, assault or harassment? Get free, confidential support from a hotline in Australia

Sexual abuse is when one person forces another person into sexual behavior, without that person's consent. It is a type of sexual violence, which is any sexual activity without consent. This includes sexual assault (such as unwanted touching or rape) and sexual harassment (unwelcome or offensive sexual behavior).

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse, assault or harassment, you might be experiencing intense rage and fear, or you may feel numb. There are 12 hotlines in Australia who support the victims of sexual violence. Consider getting some support if you recognize any of the following:

Examples of sexual violence:

  • Repeated unwanted sexual attention or advances, including in your workplace or by your employer
  • Sexual photos or videos being posted online without your consent
  • An organ or an object being put into your vagina (rape), or anus or mouth (sodomy), without your consent
  • Rape by more than one person (gang rape) or rape by the same person over a period of time (serial rape)
  • Being spoken to in a sexual way that you find offensive or degrading
  • Being coerced, threatened or forced to perform any sort of sexual activity
  • Sexual abuse or assault from someone in your family (incest)
  • Being forced or coerced to have sex without protection from sexually transmitted diseases

Effects of sexual violence:

  • An urge to use alcohol, drugs, or gamble excessively
  • Feeling edgy and fearful, especially around people who resemble the abuser in any way
  • Having flashbacks about the sexual abuse
  • Losing trust in people in general
  • Minimizing the abuse as not being as severe as someone else’s
  • Engaging in self-harm or self-mutilation
  • Having nightmares about the sexual abuse you experienced
  • A decline in your physical and mental health

Everyone deals with sexual abuse, assault or harassment differently. You may find yourself trying to cope with it in a variety of ways. However, it is perfectly natural that it takes time to heal. It was a traumatic experience, and it might take a lot of support to recover.

After surviving sexual violence, you might believe no one will understand your feelings. However, there are people in Australia who will give their best to understand you. Speaking freely about what you experienced could help you heal faster.

If you are ready to talk to someone about your experience of sexual abuse, assault or harassment, you can contact a hotline in Australia for free and confidential support.


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