Physical and sexual abuse
This page provides information on where to find help if you are sexually assaulted.
What to do if you are sexually assaulted
Sexual assault is under reported nationally – there are many reasons why people choose not to disclose or report sexual assault. Survivors of sexual assault talk about being scared they won’t be believed, not being sure if what they experienced was sexual assault, not wanting to get other people who are often known to them in trouble, or not wanting to talk about it and just forget it happened.
We want you to know that at The University of Auckland your wellbeing and health is very important to us – your disclosure will be taken seriously, and our aim is to ensure you receive the support and care you need to make a decision that is best for you. Here is some information to help you choose which of the following pathways works best for you.
If the sexual assault has just happened:
- Make sure you are now safe
- Get support from a friend, flatmate or family member
- Attend to any serious physical injuries. Go to the Hospital Emergency Department. Your physical health takes precedence over forensic work. The hospital will call the Police if you want them to.
For the forensic medical examination we talk about below it is recommended that you:
- Do NOT shower, bath, wash clothes or eat and drink (if there has been oral contact with saliva or semen) until you make a decision about involving the Police because you will be destroying forensic evidence.
- Collect any urine you pass – any container will do – and note the time. Put it in the fridge or freezer. This is really important, if you think you may have been drugged.
- Seek professional help as below. Their services are FREE.
AUCKLAND SEXUAL ABUSE HELP (Central, North and West Auckland) 09 6231700
COUNSELLING SERVICES CENTRE (South Auckland) 09 277 9324
Both of these services are available 24/7.
On campus you can also access our Counselling Services during the hours of 9am-5pm. Please let them know that your appointment is urgent and you would like to see a duty counsellor or doctor as soon as possible.
If you wish to report directly to the Police:
The Police have specialised sexual assault teams that will talk you through the process of what happens next. If the sexual assault has just happened you can call 111 – or you can go to the station. It is recommended that if you are going to the station you ring first and ask that someone from the sexual assault team be there to meet you.
If you report directly to the Police they will assist by:
- Organising a forensic medical examination by a specially trained female doctor
- They will recommend that you involve the sexual assault services above to act as an advocate and support person for you throughout the process
- Involving police and having a forensic medical does not meant you have to commit to proceeding with the complaint and going to court.
You chan change your mind at any time, however the opportunity for collecting forensic evidence will be lost if you delay involving the Police.
What is a forensic examination?
A forensic examination is the opportunity to collect specimens for DNA analysis. A forensic examination may be useful up to seven days after the assault, but the likelihood of useful evidence diminishes as time passes. The Forensic Examiner will also care for you in the following ways:
- Arrange emergency contraception
- Give medications to prevent STI (sexually transmitted infections)
- Arrange medical follow-up
- Arrange ongoing counselling (which is free).
Making a sensitive ACC claim
The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has information about what a sensitive claim is, what you need to know about making a claim and the kind of support ACC can provide for you.
Rape Prevention Education
Rape Prevention Education (RPE) works in the greater Auckland area and nationally to prevent sexual violence through the delivery of education and health promotion/prevention activities. RPE also provides information for those affected by sexual violence.
Visit Rape Prevention Education.
Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP
A community counselling agency in Mt Eden with useful information, support and therapy for women, young adult women and children who have experienced sexual assault.
Visit Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP.
A website for teenagers supporting friends who have had unwanted sexual experiences.
Safe to Talk
Safe to talk is a new 24/7 sexual harm information and support helpline that is available across New Zealand. Safe to talk provides free, confidential information and support to people affected by sexual harm. People who contact the helpline can remain anonymous and say as much or as little as they would like.
The helpline can be accessed free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone, text, website, online chat, and email on:
Freephone: 0800 044 334
Website/online chat: www.safetotalk.nz