Sexual Assault Service

The Sexual Assault Support Service is a free, confidential, informative referral and support service operated by women, for women who reside in North Queensland.

Please see our 24 hour service brochure here

Townsville Sexual Assault Response Team

The Sexual Assault Support Service exists in order to provide a range of accessible services for sexual assault survivors, including;

  • on-going and crisis counselling and support
  • Support groups
  • Referral to appropriate services
  • Information
  • Community education and training
  • Social activism including the Reclaim the Night march each October.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual Assault is uninvited, unwanted and unwelcomed sexual attention. Perpetrators of sexual assault use power, force and manipulation in an attempt to control another person's body, senses and emotions.

Sexual assault is any sexual behaviour which is unwanted and makes you feel uncomfortable or afraid. This can include:

  • Verbal harassment
  • Being made to look at, or pose for pornographic material
  • Suggestive behaviour
  • Unwanted touching or kissing
  • Attempted rape
  • Rape
  • Incest

Sexual Assault is a crime and the victim/survivor is never to blame.

Sex offenders come from all age groups, social backgrounds, ethnicities and income levels. Sexual Assault is mostly perpetrated by men against women and children, with most sexual assaults being premeditated and well planned. Most victims/survivors are sexually assaulted by men they know and trust including, fathers, husbands, boyfriends, close family friends and neighbours. As a result, survivors of sexual assault can be left with social, emotional, medical and legal consequences

If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, you may have experienced some or all of the following responses:

  • Fearfulness
  • Powerlessness
  • Shame or guilt
  • Self blame
  • Anger
  • Lowered self esteem
  • Loss of trust and difficulty trusting others
  • Anxiety, nightmares, sleeping disturbances, and eating disorders
  • Problematic relationships with partners, peers, colleagues
  • Difficulties with intimate relationships
  • Flashbacks – reliving the memory of the assault(s)

Things to consider if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted:

If possible,

  • Make your way to a safe place away from harm.
  • Avoid washing yourself and changing your clothes and eating, drinking, or smoking  until you have spoken with a health service, as it is important to retain as much evidence as possible for forensic testing. 
  • Evidence can  be collected  up to 72 hours to 5 days after the rape.

PLEASE NOTE: Washing, changing clothing, urinating or delaying the examination may interfere with the forensic evidence.

  • Talk to somebody, a reliable friend or appropriate service
  • Seek counselling to help you through this traumatic experience
  • Seek medical assistance and care
  • Testing for Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI’s) and pregnancy
  • Contact the Police for a Forensic examination

Women have the right to:

  • be heard and supported
  • be accepted
  • be treated with respect and dignity
  • be informed of all possible options and choices
  • have access to appropriate services and information

People do survive and heal from the trauma of sexual assault

Download the following brochures:

Townsville Sexual Assault Service

Facts About Child Sexual Assault

Healing After Sexual Assault

Myths and Facts About Rape

Crisis numbers

24hr telephone support services available include:

DV Connect

1800 811 811

Homeless Persons
Information Centre

1800 474 753

Lifeline

131 114

Sexual Assault Helpline

1800 010 120 (until 11.30pm)

National Sexual Assault,
Domestic Family Violence
Counselling Service

1800 010 120 (1800 RESPECT)