Family Action encourages women and children to achieve their potential.
Sexual Harm Crisis
Family Action specialises in providing free and confidential support in West Auckland for survivors of sexual harm and their family/whanau. Our crisis team is here to help you manage after assault whether it happened recently or in the past. We offer counselling, information, support with police interventions and further referral options.
Police reporting support
Whether you are considering reporting to police or have decided to report, the Sexual Harm Crisis Service is able to provide emotional and psychological support throughout. We can tell you about the processes, your options, give you information and be with you during the interview or any meetings if you would like.
Medical consultation support
Your health and wellbeing is important.
If you report a recent sexual assault to police, they may offer you a forensic medical examination with specialist medical providers. We are able to give you information about this, your options and rights and can be alongside you during this process. A forensic medical needs to occur as soon as possible after a sexual assault (especially if you are considering reporting to the police) and we are happy to talk the options through with you.
If the sexual assault/abuse occurred in the past, a therapeutic medical service is available for you. This medical is with specially trained medical staff and focuses solely on your health and wellbeing. It will go at your pace and you will be in control of what does or does not happen. Again we are available to talk through the process, make referrals and support you at this medical if you wish.
Family action offers up to three immediate crisis counselling sessions. These are available to you and family/whanau members in order to help you manage through this often difficult time in order to help minimise longer term affects.
Our crisis counselling interventions (by phone or face to face) focus on reducing the stress you and your family may be experiencing from the sexual assault.
Longer term counselling options will be discussed with you and are available through Family Action.
Contact our service
Phone 09 836 1987 and ask reception to put you through to the sexual crisis team. If we are not immediately available reception will arrange support for you from another qualified counsellor within the team at Family Action.
If you have reported the assault/incident to police they will automatically contact us on your behalf.
Recent or Suspected Sexual Assault
Right now you may be overwhelmed or feel numb. You may find it harder to function or make decisions at this time. You may experience shock or disbelief about what has happened, have lots, some or no clear memories, and may ask yourself ‘why me?’. You may be worried about your body or health and what to do next. These feelings are normal and we are here to give you information and support in order to help you make the best decisions for yourself. You do not have to cope alone.
Past Sexual Assault / Abuse
Past sexual assault or abuse feelings and memories can be triggered by all sorts of life events and our crisis team is available to provide emotional support, information and coping strategies to help you in the here and now.
Family Action has an experienced team of ACC registered counsellors and therapists available for longer term therapeutic support if you would like.
Everyone responds and reacts in their own ways following sexual assault/abuse. At times you may feel like you are going “crazy”. These reactions are normal responses to an overwhelming and sometimes frightening situation. Seeking the right support as soon as possible is important as you and your family/whanau work through what has happened.
Below is a list of some common reactions following sexual assault/abuse:
- Feeling numb and unable to cry
- Crying a lot
- Disbelief or shock
- Feeling “dirty”
- Intense shame or embarrassment
- Blaming yourself for all or part of what happened
- Mood swings and changes
- Feeling not good enough
- Extreme anger and/or aggression
- Feeling vulnerable an scared
- Feeling jumpy and anxious
- Changes in appetite (Eating more or less)
- Sleep disturbances (sleeping more or can’t sleep)
- Trouble concentrating
- Feeling like you can’t trust anyone
- Wanting more hugs or hating being touched
- Hating the person that did this to you
- Suicidal thought
- Self-injury/harm to cope
- Alcohol or drug increase in order to cope
- Sexual issues
There are many different feelings you may have including ones that are not listed here. These feelings are normal and it is okay to feel this way. There is no right or wrong way to feel, however the intensity of these feelings will lessen, especially as you receive support and gain understanding.
Everyone manages the best they can following sexual assault/abuse. Below are some ideas for promoting self-care.
- Accept support from those you trust
- Cry if you need to
- Share upset with those you trust
- Exercise if it feels good
- Relaxation activities you like
- Notice nature
- Meditate/mindfulness/prayer/breathing exercises (if appropriate)
- Write your thoughts down (be sure it’s private)
- Try different things to help improve sleeping and flashbacks (not everything will work all of the time)
- Create a routine
- Love yourself (or work on it)
- Work with negative thoughts
- Do something special
- Personal counselling
- Listen to / play music you like
- Personal counselling
There are many coping strategies found to be useful in working with the emotional and psychological stress from sexual assault trauma and we can support you in discovering ones that work best for you. You are not to blame for what has happened to you. You have a right to recover and go on to enjoy life and feel safe again.