Speaking to our counsellors: what to expect

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Speaking to our counsellors: what to expect

  • We believe those who contact us after experiencing sexual assault;
  • We'll work together to find an approach to counselling that suits each person;
  • No one needs to talk about what happened if they don't want to;
  • We will help to find ways of coping with what happened and how it might affect other parts of life;
  • We can answer questions that might help people understand their experiences and options;
  • We can refer to services in any local area.

"I believe you"

Unfortunately - and especially for women and children - sexual assault and domestic or family violence is extremely common. It can be devastating.

People often find it difficult to talk about the violence and the effects it has had on their lives.

Anyone who contacts Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia for support can be confident that we will believe them.

We understand the common impacts of violence, and we provide the best quality counselling.

How can we help?

People contact our services with a range of different needs. Some make contact after a recent assault or experience of violence. Others are seeking help about violence that occurred some time ago, or in childhood. Others contact us about someone else they are concerned about.

People who contact us tell us that they are seeking help to:

  • Manage feelings of distress, loneliness and agitation;
  • Understand the impacts of the violence on their lives;
  • Work on strategies to cope with the impacts of the violence. These could be panic, depression, loneliness, shame, insomnia, anger, self- blame, physical symptoms and disruption to other relationships;
  • Understand the options available. These could be local medical or other support services, legal options or face to face counselling
  • Understand how they can best help someone they know.

    We can work with other supporters, like a face to face counsellor or a case manager. As the service is 24/7, support and counselling is available at times when a face to face counsellor may not be.

The people who contact us come from a range of backgrounds. We understand that every person has different needs. We provide a service that is sensitive to these differences and can work in ways that suit each individual.

Many of the people who use our services are unable to access face to face counselling due to their location, disabilities and trauma impacts. Other people who contact us are using other services including face to face counselling, but require support between their appointments.

Confidentiality

Our services are confidential and people can contact us anonymously if they would prefer.

Our counsellors work as a team and a call may be answered by any one of them each time.

We keep confidential records of all contact that our counsellors have with people who use our services. This means those who contact us don't have to repeat themselves. The records also help counsellors pass on information to other counsellors about what each person wants to achieve.

If we believe that a caller or someone else is in imminent danger, or if we hold concerns for the safety or welfare of any children, we may need to share information with others who can help.

We will discuss these concerns with callers should they come up. If we do need to share information, we will only share what is absolutely necessary to ensure someone's safety.

Timing and frequency

A counselling session may last up to 50 minutes. The majority of sessions are shorter than this and will depend on the individual's needs and the counsellor's assessment. We set this timing based on research, our experience and feedback from people who contact our services.

Each person's needs are different and so is the amount and frequency of contact. We work with people to build on their ability to manage their distress between counselling sessions. For many people, contacts will decrease over time, with possible increases if they experience a crisis.

Wait times for our telephone and online counselling services vary. We have fewer counsellors available at weekends and in the evenings, so wait times could be longer at these times.

Get in touch:

NSW Rape Crisis
Available 24/7.
Sexual Assault Counselling Australia
For those affected by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Available 24/7.
Online counselling
Online counselling is also available 24/7.