Sexual assault

If you have experienced sexual assault, you can get assistance and support.

You can contact CASA on 1800 806 292 for crisis care following a sexual assault.

The Victims of Crime Helpline 1800 819 817 can provide information, advice and support.

Sexual assault is a serious crime and an abuse of power.

If you have been affected by sexual assault, it can be difficult to know what to do and how to get help, but services are available to provide you with care, support and advice.

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 does not always include physical harm.

A sexual assault can happen as part of:

Threatening to sexually assault someone can be a crime.

Image-based abuse – the making of intimate images and videos and displaying them on the internet or sharing them via social media without a person’s permission or threatening to do so – can also be a crime.

There are many different charges for sexual assault offences depending on:

  • the nature of the assault (for example rape, indecent assault)
  • if the person assaulted is a child
  • if there is a family relationship between the accused person and the victim (incest).

You can learn more about how Victoria Police deals with sexual offences on their website.

Care and support across Victoria

Centres Against Sexual Assault

Across Victoria, you can access free 24 hour crisis care for sexual assault from the Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA). You do not need to report the assault to police to get help.

Call: 1800 806 292
Open: 24 hours a day

CASA also offers the Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL), a free and confidential after hours emergency telephone service, available weeknights 5pm–9am and 24 hours a day on weekends and public holidays on 1800 806 292.

CASA can help with:

  • counselling and support
  • deciding whether you want to make a report to police
  • making sure you have information about your rights and options and advocating for you
  • assessing your safety and protection needs and helping you make a safety plan
  • supporting family members, loved ones and carers
  • helping you communicate with police, forensic and other medical and health personnel
  • referrals to other community support services.

Victims of Crime Helpline

The Victims of Crime Helpline 1800 819 817 can also provide advice and support with:

Help to understand the justice process

The Victims of Crime Helpline can answer your questions about:

You can learn more about sexual assault and the justice process below.

Report sexual assault

A report of sexual assault can be made by phone or at any police station.

If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime is currently occurring, please call police on Triple Zero (000). You can also go to your local police station to report a crime.

If you make the initial report by phone, you will need to meet with police at a convenient time. You may wish to have a support person with you. This can be a family member or friend or a trusted professional like a counsellor.

If you go to a police station to report a sexual assault, you will be taken to a safe and private interview room. You will be given information that can help you decide whether you wish to make a formal report.

Mandatory reporting – protecting children from harm

In Victoria, police officers and other professionals such as medical practitioners, nurses and teachers, are legally required to report to child protection if they believe a child:

  • has been or might be harmed because of physical or sexual abuse, and
  • their parents or guardians have not protected them, are not able to protect them or are not likely to protect them.

This is called mandatory reporting.

All adults in the community have a responsibility to report child sexual abuse

Since 2014, there has been a law in Victoria called the failure to disclose offence. It means that you must report child sexual abuse if you:

  • are an adult, and
  • you come to a ‘reasonable belief’ that a sexual offence (sexual abuse) has been committed by an adult against a child under 16.

If this happens you must report your belief to the police, unless you have a reasonable excuse. If you do not, you may be charged with a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is three years imprisonment.

You can learn more about the failure to disclose offence on the Department of Justice and Community’s website.

Counselling and crisis support services


24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Open: 24 hours, every day
Call: 13 11 14


The national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service offering a phone and an online chat service.

Open: 24 hours, every day
Call: 1800 737 732

Mental health care plan – see your General Practitioner

If you need assistance, you can see a General Practitioner and discuss your situation. You may be eligible for a mental health care plan that will assist with the cost of counselling.

Other services

Victoria Legal Aid’s (VLA) Legal Help service provides free general legal information over the phone and by chat online.

Open: 8am–6pm, every day
Call: 1800 677 402

WorkSafe Victoria

Victoria’s health and safety regulator and manager of Victoria’s workers compensation scheme (WorkCover). If the sexual assault happened while you were performing work duties, you may be entitled to make a claim.

Open: 7.30am–6.30pm, Monday to Friday
Call: 1800 136 089

Services for LGBTIQ+ people

Rainbow Door

Rainbow Door is a free specialist helpline providing information, support, and referral to all LGBTIQ+ Victorians, their friends and family.

Open: every day 10am to 5pm

Call: 1800 729 367
Text: 0408 017 246


Switchboard is a volunteer organisation which provides a free, confidential and anonymous telephone counselling, referral and information service for Victorian bisexual, transgender and gender diverse, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQ+) people and their supporters.

Switchboard partners with QLife to provide a phone and webchat service.

Open: 3pm–midnight, every day
Call: 1800 184 527
Website: or

Thorne Harbour Health

A community-controlled organisation providing health services for LGBTIQ+ people, including relationship counselling.

9am–7pm, Monday
9am–9pm Tuesday to Thursday
9am–5pm Friday
Call: 1800 134 835


A specialist LGBTIQ+ family violence service to support LGBTIQ+ people and their families affected by family violence.

w/respect is a partnership of four LGBTIQ+ specialist organisations; queerspace (supported by drummond street services), Thorne Harbour Health, Switchboard and Transgender Victoria.

9am–5pm Monday to Friday
After hours counselling 5pm–11pm Wednesday and 10am–10pm Saturday and Sunday
Call: 1800 LGBTIQ

queerspace (supported by drummond street services)

queerspace provides a safe and supportive space to obtain information and access services aimed at improving the health and well-being of LGBTIQ+ people.

9am–5pm Monday to Friday
After hours counselling 5pm–11pm Wednesday, 10am–10pm Saturday and Sunday
Call: (03) 9663 6733

Transgender Victoria (TGV)

TGV is Victoria’s leading body for trans and gender diverse advocacy. Provides service and referrals for trans and gender diverse people, their partners, families and friends.

Call: (03) 9020 4642