Support for victims/survivors of sexual harm
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harm you can receive specialist support from trained professionals. This is not something you need to go through alone, and there are many free and confidential services available to you.
The decision is up to you - you may want to access specialist counselling, medical services, receive financial or accommodation support, or explore options of academic adjustments and support. You can expect the University of Auckland to:
- listen to you and take you seriously
- to offer clear information about all of your options
- to give you the control and support you through the process to make your own decisions and choices.
HELP is a private and confidential sexual violence support service. They have a drop-in service every week during the semester, on level 3 of the Kate Edger Building, City Campus. You can also call them 24/7 on 0800 623 1700.
If you are living in one of the University’s halls of residence and want to talk to someone, you can contact your resident manager or coordinator, or your resident advisor (RA).
Additional information about Pastoral Care available in halls of residence can be found here.
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. More information can be found here.
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. It is common for survivors of sexual assault to feel worried about not being believed; be unsure if what they experienced was sexual assault; not want to get people who are often known to them in trouble; or not want to talk about it and just forget it happened. However, at The University of Auckland your health and wellbeing is very important to us and your disclosure will always be taken seriously. 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, especially if you think you may have been drugged.
- Seek professional help as below. Their services are FREE and available 24/7:
Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP (Central, North and West Auckland) 0800 623 1700
Safe to Talk 0800 044 334
Counselling Services Centre (South Auckland) 09 277 9324
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.
You can 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)
Where can I get a forensic examination?
For more information please click here. Please note it is best to contact one of the support services above first, to ensure you are supported through this.
Support for students with harmful sexual behaviour
There are support options both on and off campus if you are worried about having harmful sexual behaviour or you have been alleged to have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour.
- Auckland University Students’ Association’s (AUSA) free advocacy service.
- University Student Health and Counselling offer a free service on campus to students who need support.
- The University Proctors deal with student to student conflict and disputes.
- If you are living in one of the University’s halls of residence and want to talk to someone you can contact your resident manager or coordinator, or your resident advisor (RA).
- Safe To Talk is a free helpline offering 24/7 confidential support with trained specialists for people who have experienced sexual harm, and for those who have harmful sexual behaviour. You can text them on 4334 or call on 0800 044 334.
- Ministry of Justice Victims Information is a free website to help victim/survivors of sexual violence (and their friends, family and whānau) understand the reporting, investigation and court process as well as the roles of people in court. Resources are available in English and Te Reo Māori.