If you have been sexually assaulted, you might be experiencing some overwhelming feelings. Other young people that we work with who have been through this experience said they felt very scared and confused.
How do you know what to do now? Or where to turn for support?
Thankfully, there are support services across most of New Zealand that specialise in providing information and support to people who have been through this. It’s worth taking them up on it too, because evidence suggests that a person’s long-term recovery is better if they access good support early on.
HELP has an agreement with the local police and specialist doctors, which says that they must contact us every time someone tells them about being sexually assaulted, so you can expect us to be there. As specially trained counsellors, we can explain what options you have and support you through whatever decisions you make.
Who do I call?
What do I do next?
You have the right to talk to the Police, but you don’t have to. This can be scary if you’ve never spoken to them before, or only did so when you were in trouble. We can help you with this though and answer any questions you have. Learn more about reporting to the Police.
A medical examination is recommended as soon after the assault as possible. There are two different kinds and we can help you access this service.
Child, Youth, and Family
If you are under the age of 17 and talk to the Police or a support service about what has happened, it is likely that Child, Youth & Family Services (CYFS) will be contacted. A social worker will probably contact you and their role is to make sure you are living in a safe environment. People are often afraid that they will be removed from their home if CYFS becomes involved. CYFS does their best to ensure this happens only when absolutely necessary, and if you are feeling unsafe in your home it is likely that the person who is making you feel unsafe is removed rather than you.
Sometimes you still have to have contact with the person who sexually abused you, so we’ve established a restorative justice programme, called Project Restore, to help you make this possible.