If you're looking for help to do with sexual harm, you've come to the right place.
If this is an emergency, call 111.
Whatever your reason for being here, you matter to us. We’re here to help.
We offer free confidential contact with a trained specialist. We can also connect you to support services in your community if that’s what you want.
Some things we offer are:
- contact with a trained specialist at any time of the day or night, seven days a week
- answers to your questions about sexual harm
- information about medical, emotional, and behavioural issues related to harmful experiences
- explanations of what you might expect if you report to the Police
- referral to specialist services in your area
- information and contact with a specialist if you are worried about your thoughts or behaviour.
Whatever might have happened to you, free help is available.
If you’re feeling bad or anxious about something that’s happened but you’re not sure it’s sexual harm, you’re right to seek help.
You may find it easier to talk with a trained specialist rather than friends and whānau. However, it can also be really helpful during this time to have someone with you who you know and trust. Look for people who are calm, who will listen and believe you and who won’t judge you.
Reporting to Police
It’s your choice
You can report sexual harm whether it happened recently or a long time ago.
The Police and other specially trained people can help you decide your next steps.
If this is an emergency, call 111.
When you speak to the Police you can have a support person with you, such as a trusted friend, or whānau or family member, or a support person from a specialist service.
If the harmful sexual experience has happened recently and you want to report it to Police, you can choose to have evidence taken from your clothing and body for a possible court case. Evidence can be collected up to (or in some cases, over) a week after the incident.
You will probably be feeling very distressed after an assault but here are some things to think about so you can keep as much evidence as possible for a forensic medical examination.
Try to avoid
- Showering, bathing or washing your hair
- Brushing your hair or teeth
- Cutting or biting your fingernails
- Eating, drinking or smoking
- Going to the toilet or disposing of sanitary products
- Washing or disposing of clothing or other items you were wearing before, during, or after the assault.
If you would like more information on how Police can help, visit their website.
This website outlines what happens when a crime is reported to Police and goes to court.
You may need medical attention, whether or not you report to the Police.
A Doctor can check that you are physically OK, treat any injuries and give you medication if it's needed.
In most areas in New Zealand you can see a specially trained Doctor working at a Sexual Abuse Assessment and Treatment Service (SAATS).
You can ask to have just the medical care, or you may choose to have a Forensic Medical Examination too (see below).
We are here if you would like to talk through any of this information and can connect you with any support you may want.
You can find your nearest sexual assault medical service by going to the SAATS website. All services are free of charge.
Forensic medical examinations
Forensic medical examinations are used to gather evidence for possible court cases. The Police can provide you with information to help you make your decision about whether or not you wish to proceed with the examination. You can also ask for the evidence collected to be placed in storage for a while. This means you can have more time to think about your decision.
General health and medical care is available. You can have someone you choose to accompany you, such as a trusted friend, or whānau or family member, or an advocate from a specialist service.
You have the right to stop the examination at any time, even if you just want a break. The Doctor will explain everything to you at the beginning. If you have any questions, they will stop and answer them in a way that you can understand.
Our specialists are non-judgemental and professional. We can connect you with appropriate services.
I have concerns about my thoughts or behaviour
If you are worried or have concerns about your sexual behavior, or thoughts, then perhaps it is time to get some help. Maybe you’re worried about something you’ve done or maybe others have raised concerns with you. Maybe you’re worried about things that you’ve thought about.
Concerning or harmful sexual behaviour, or thoughts, might include:
- Making others feel uncomfortable because of harmful words
- Not respecting other people’s boundaries, like staring or standing too close, or not listening to their requests or respecting their limits
- Doing any unwanted sexual touching, or forcing others to do sexual things
- Any sexual behaviour with someone under 16
- Looking at sexual material of children, violence, or illegal sexual behaviour
- Thoughts and fantasies about concerning and harmful sexual behaviour with children, about rape, or sexual contact with animals.
People can, and do, change their behaviour and the way they think. It’s a good idea to get in touch with a professional to talk about thoughts. This may prevent you acting out these thoughts which could be harmful and illegal.
Our trained specialists are available 24/7 and can talk you through different ways to get help.
Keep in mind when you talk to us you might need to:
- Discuss what confidentiality means so you are clear about our policy
- Talk in more depth about your concerns so we can understand your situation better.
Our specialists are non-judgemental and professional. They can connect you to local specialist services where you can also get help.