Support a loved one – Sexual Violence Awareness Month 2022

Today marks the beginning of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. This year’s theme, ‘Start by believing’ encourages us to go beyond awareness raising. It encourages us to learn how to respond when someone tells us they have experienced sexual assault.
As friends and family members of survivors of sexual assault, we don’t need to have all the answers straight away. We simply need to listen and believe survivors. Support someone who tells you they have experienced rape or sexual assault in these simple ways.

Believe them

Sometimes a person just needs you to listen and believe them and that is enough.

Ask them what they need and how you can help

Be guided by your family member or friend on how you can help. Don’t jump into action unless a loved one asks you to.

Stay in touch

If they become distant or withdrawn, it’s important you keep a line of communication open by letting them know you are here to talk whenever they need. Their support network is critical in their recovery form an experience of sexual assault.

Share support services with them

Let them know that services like the Sexual Assault Helpline are free and confidential to access.

Don’t push them for details

You don’t need to know everything about their experience of sexual assault to be supportive. Let them share with you what they feel comfortable with and allow them to share things with you in their own time.

Brother supporting sister sits on couch with his arm around her while she rests her head in her hands

Don’t victim-blame

Avoid interrogating your friend or family member about what happened or what could have been done to have prevented an assault. This is victim-blaming and a victim, survivor is never to blame.

Call us for free advice

You can call the Sexual Assault Helpline if you are a friend or family member of someone who has experienced sexual assault and you need some more advice on how to help. Call us on 1800 010 120

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Thank you DVConnect for saving my Mums life, and mine. You guys getting us out of there changed everything. Thank you so much. Life is good now! 

Our survivor has chosen to remain anonymous.

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How your donation will help

  • Provides operational support to fund our bridging accommodation residence Bella's Sanctuary.
  • Provides emergency transport and accommodation for Queenslanders in crisis due to domestic and family violence.
  • Provides safety planning, crisis counselling and information to those impacted by domestic and family violence.
  • Educates Queenslanders on how to help family, friends and colleagues who have experienced, or are experiencing domestic and family violence.