Rape and Sexual Assault

If someone has sexual intercourse with you without your consent it is rape.

If they penetrate your vagina or anus to the slightest degree with an object or any part of their body other than their penis, it is an aggravated sexual assault.

Rape and sexual assault are crimes. If convicted, the person can be sent to prison.

There is no excuse for rape or aggravated sexual assault.

As soon as you say no, then the other person must stop, even if you initially said yes.

It is not an excuse for someone to say they didn’t rape or sexually assault you because you didn’t say no. Silence does not mean consent.

If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs you may not be able to provide valid consent. If you are passed out on the couch, no-one should touch you in a sexual manner.

Most importantly always remember that rape and sexual assault are never your fault.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can speak with a counsellor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.

See your state or territory to find local services that can help.

Differences between states

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory the legal term for rape is ‘sexual intercourse without consent.’

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted then you should report it to the police right away, by calling 000.

You can speak with a counsellor 24/7 by calling the free, nationwide service 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.

You can contact the Sexual Assault Referral Centre for counselling and crisis response. SARC services are located in Alice Springs (phone 08 8955 4500), Tennant Creek (phone 08 8962 4361), Katherine (phone 08 8973 8524), and Darwin (phone 08 8922 6472).

You may also wish to contact the Ruby Gaea Darwin Centre Against Rape Inc. on 08 8945 0155. Ruby Gaea is a professional counselling and advocacy service for women and children survivors of sexual assault.

For legal advice following an experience of sexual assault you should contact the Central Australian Women’s Legal Service on 1800 684 055 for advice and assistance. Alternatively you may wish to contact the Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Unit Aboriginal Corporation on 08 8953 6355 or 1800 088 884.

Depending on where you live, alternatively you could contact the Katherine Women’s Information and Legal Service on 08 8972 1712 or 1800 620 108; or the Top End Women’s Legal Service on 08 8982 3000 or 1800 234 441.

ACT

In the ACT the legal term for rape is ‘sexual intercourse without consent’.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted then you should report it to the police right away. You can also contact the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on their rape crisis response number, 02 6247 2525. The service operates between 7am and 11pm, 7 days a week.

You can speak with a counsellor 24/7 by calling the free, nationwide service 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.

Western Australia

You can speak with a counsellor 24/7 by calling the free, nationwide service 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.

Sexual assault matters should be reported to your local police station or by calling the police on 131 444. The Sexual Assault Squad can be contacted by telephone on 08 9428 1600.

The Sexual Assault Resource Centre also provides services to people who have been sexually assaulted or sexually abused. Services include a free 24 hour emergency service consisting of medical, forensic and supportive care and a free counselling service.  The Sexual Assault Resource Centre can be contacted on the 24 hour emergency line 08 9340 1828 or free call from a land line 1800 199 888.

NSW

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted then you should report it to the police. It is important that you do this right away because you may need to go to hospital for some tests so the police have evidence of the crime – if you wait a couple of days or longer the tests won’t be as effective. You should also contact the Rape Crisis Centre/Sexual Assault Hotline on 02 9819 6565 or 1800 424 017.

You can speak with a counsellor 24/7 by calling the free, nationwide service 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.

Victoria

In Victoria, if you have been raped or sexually assaulted you should report it to the Victoria Police Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT). You can find your local SOCIT Unit this link.

You should also contact the Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA). You can find a list of the different centres here on their website.

You can also contact the Sexual Assault Crisis Line on 1800 806 292 for counselling and information.

You can speak with a counsellor 24/7 by calling the free, nationwide service 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.

South Australia

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted then you should report it to the police straight away by calling 000.

SA support services for sexual assault include:

  • Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service is the lead public health agency responding to adult rape and sexual assault in South Australia. It is a community service which provides direct services to people who have been raped or sexually assaulted and who were 16 or more at the time of assault. All services are by appointment which can be made by calling 08 8226 8777.
  • Respond SA provides highly confidential counselling services free of charge. Phone on 08 8223 4566 or 1800 182 325 (free call for rural areas).
  • Relationships Australia (SA) – you can call if you are an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse and would like to receive counselling in relation to the abuse on 1300 364 277.

You can speak with a counsellor 24/7 by calling the free, nationwide service 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.

Tasmania

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted then you should report it to the police right away. You can also contact the Sexual Assault Support Service on their rape crisis response number which operates 24/7 on 03 62311817.

You can speak with a counsellor 24/7 by calling the free, nationwide service 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.

Queensland

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted then you should report it to the police right away by calling 000. You can also contact the Statewide Sexual Assault Helpline on 1800 010 120.

You can speak with a counsellor 24/7 by calling the free, nationwide service 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.