Have you recently been sexually assaulted?
If you are a victim of recent sexual assault, you have the right to attend a Crisis Care Unit at Sunshine Hospital.
However if you attend a different hospital in the western suburbs of Melbourne, a WestCASA Counsellor/Advocate will travel to meet you at that hospital.
What you can do now:
1. Know there are people who can help you.
Emergency and counselling numbers:
SEXUAL ASSAULT CRISIS LINE: 1800 806 292
WESTERN HEALTH – SUNSHINE HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT: 03 8345 1333
2. You might have physical evidence on your body.
The offender may have left behind evidence such as fibres, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing. If this is the case and you would like to report the assault, do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body.
Do not change clothes if possible, so hospital staff can collect evidence. Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
3. If you report to the police…
The police may take you to a crisis care unit at a local hospital emergency department, where you will be supported by a local CASA counsellor.
The police, with your permission, may call a forensic medical examiner to collect evidence from you. This may include taking clothing, and samples of skin, saliva and semen that may have been left behind by the offender.
4. If you don’t report to the police…
It is still important that you receive some medical attention. This could be provided through your local general practitioner or hospital emergency.
You may need to be examined, treated for any injuries, and screened for possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy.
You can report at any time in the future.
5. Remember, you have been through a traumatic event
It is understandable that your usual coping mechanisms may have been affected. There are many normal and common reactions to sexual assault that may feel strange and uncomfortable.
Your local CASA can provide counselling and support you in managing these impacts.
WestCASA Crisis Care Service
WestCASA provides a Crisis Care Service specifically for people 18 years of age and over who have been sexually assaulted in the last 2 weeks.
People younger than 18 will be referred to the Gatehouse Centre based at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
In the Crisis Care Unit you will be supported by a Counsellor/Advocate.
They will provide:
- Information about the purpose of the forensic medical examination and support for you to decide whether to have the examination or not.
- Information about your rights with the police and the legal process and support for you to decide whether to report the sexual assault or not.
- Information about how recent sexual assault trauma might impact on your body, feelings and thoughts.
- Information about the counselling services offered at WestCASA. If you are living in different region you can receive information about where you can get future counselling or WestCASA can facilitate the referral to the CASA closer to your home.