Services at SARC

For Young People (13-25)

Sexual assault and sexual abuse affects many people of all ages and all genders. As well as being raped, it includes any unwanted sexual contact such as touching and being tricked or forced into doing a sexual act.

Sexual abuse and sexual assault is never the victim's fault

The majority of people seen at SARC are young people between the ages of 13 and 25 from a range of cultural backgrounds. 

SARC has male and female youth counsellors who understand the needs of young people. The counsellors are aware that many young people are worried about other people finding out about their expereinces. SARC has clear confidentiality boundaries which will be explained when you first call SARC.

More information about SARC services.

A group of young people

Info sheets

Coping information after a sexual assault

Useful websites

For men
Close up of man with head in his hands

SARC provides services to men over the age of 13 years. Increasing numbers of men of all ages are contacting SARC about recent sexual assaults and about sexual abuse that happened during their childhood.

SARC have male and female counsellors and medical staff. We recognise that clients may have preferences over the gender of the counsellor/Doctor they see and we always try to accommodate individual needs.

One of the male counsellors at SARC runs a group excusively for male survivors of sexual assault.     

More information about SARC services.

More information on groups at SARC.

For Aboriginal people
Sexual assault or sexual abuse is a big problem in the Aboriginal community. “It is against the law”

At SARC we help Aboriginal people who have experienced any unwanted sexual contact or sexual behaviour either recently or in the past. A huge part of our services is about feeling safe and being able to talk about what happened respectfully. Everyone who works here understands this can be a big step and might be a shame feeling coming into SARC. Confidentiality is very important to our team and your decisions will be respected at all times.

Young Aboriginal man lifting weights


  • Ring SARC between 8:30am and 11pm daily and talk to a counsellor.
  • SARC counsellors can help people talk about past sexual assault or abuse, it doesn’t matter how long ago it happened
  • We are here to listen and our counsellors can help clients move forward in their life.

Loving Aboriginal couple


  • Ring the SARC 24 hour Emergency Line and ask for help (08) 6458 1828 or 1800 199 888 (free call from landlines)
  • Make a time to see a SARC doctor for a medical check-up
  • If the person is badly injured they will have to go hospital. A SARC doctor and counsellor will meet them there. More information about SARC’s emergency services.

To meet the needs of the Aboriginal community, SARC offers a range of culturally appropriate resources and training opportunities on sexual violence and trauma.

SARC provides ongoing support for you, your family and community when recovering from this experience. 

For more information, please feel free to contact our office and yarn with our counsellors or Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer.

More information about SARC services.

Young Aboriginal women sitting Aboriginal graphic. Words; love, safety, consent, respect and trust around a setting sunClose up of Aboriginal man

For people living with a disability
A person in a wheelchair

At SARC, we welcome all people aged 13 and older whatever their gender, ethnicity, sexuality or disability.

The communication styles of people with an intellectual disability vary, as they do with all people. Some may be very articulate, some very talkative, and others may have very limited or no verbal communication. Depending on each individual client’s communication style, needs and limitations, counsellors may need to talk more or talk less, give more suggestions or prompt more than usual.

Issues around confidentiality for people with intellectual disability can be complex in counselling practice. It is important that we work with our clients to find an appropriate balance between the client’s right to privacy of their personal information, and the need to share information with others to promote understanding and safety, or to work together to achieve the client’s goals (including family members, carers or other service providers).

Family members and other support people often know the person very well and are best placed to observe changes in their behaviour and well-being. Their opinions and observations will be taken seriously. An understanding of trauma and its effects is highly relevant for counselling practitioners working with people with intellectual disability and as with the non-disabled population, the same trauma informed care applies. Sharing of information and/or concerns may be needed, particularly if there is a risk of further abuse. Confidentiality will be discussed at the first counselling session ensuring that the right communication mode/aid/device is used. It is essential to make the therapeutic boundaries clear from the outset for the client, carers and others who care for their wellbeing. 

SARC head office is accessible by wheelchair with wide doors.  There are female and unisex toilets available with braille signs on the doors.  Auslan and other language interpreters are available if required but may need some notice to organise.

Several SARC counsellors have extensive experience in working therapeutically with people living with a disability.

More information about SARC services.

For people from non-English speaking backgrounds

SARC provide services to people from non-English speaking backgrounds.  We can use interpreting services for phone calls and face to face emergency appointments. Short term follow up can also be negotiated with an interpreter.

SARC counsellors are skilled in working with the impact of trauma and we are very aware that there are culturally sensitive issues that may require specific attention or support for our clients from overseas communities.

We have information sheets on sexual assault that are translated in a number of different languages that you can access below.

ARC are able to see clients who do not hold a medicare card, and can also see clients no matter what their visa status.

More information about SARC services.

Translated Information

For people from LGBTI communities
Sexual violence is a traumatic experience for survivors, and can be particularly difficult for someone who has experienced unfair treatment because of their gender or sexuality or is questioning their gender or sexuality. SARC understands that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex (LGBTI) community members face the spectre of hate violence in the form of sexual assault; and a particularly disturbing dynamic arises when the assaults are perpetrated by other LGBTI community members.  There may be specific questions asked by LGBTI survivors of sexual violence, such as “Will people believe me and treat me with respect if I speak about the assault?” Many LGBTI survivors may be concerned about feeling judged or misunderstood and fear that they will be treated differently.  They may be concerned that there are no services available for survivors of sexual assault if they identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex or other identities.

SARC is an inclusive service that is available to a broad range of community members, including people of diverse sexuality and gender.  All clients at SARC can expect to be treated with dignity, respect and understanding, including clients from LGBTI communities. SARC workers themselves are a diverse group and include people of diverse sexuality. One of the goals of SARC is to provide a quality service to all members of the community, regardless of their gender, sexuality, abilities, race or ethnicity. 

More information about SARC services.

Rear view of two people holding hands

For family, friends and support people

As well as providing support for individuals who have experienced sexual assault, SARC offers assistance to parents, partners, extended family members and friends of those who have experienced sexual assault or abuse.

Support from others can be a crucial part of healing for anyone who has experienced sexual violence. For support people, providing support to a loved one in the aftermath of a sexual assault can be difficult.

SARC provides support for parents, partners and extended family/friends in a number of different ways which can often include:

  • Providing information to support persons before, during and/or after the survivor’s engagement with SARC.
  • Providing advice and information about how to respond to the victim immediately after an assault has taken place.
  • Facilitating a referral for counselling for the support person to SARC for their own individual therapy. 
  • Linking the support person in with services in the community that may be able to help.
  • Providing group based information programs and facilitating a support person’s referral into the program.

For support people who have attended SARC with their loved one immediately after a sexual assault, they may have had the opportunity to speak to the counsellor and/or doctor at this time. This may lead to a referral for the support person to access SARC counselling. The process of this referral will be explained at the time.

For support people who have not had any contact with SARC in the past, they can contact SARC by telephoning (08) 6458 1828 or 1800 199 888 (free call from landlines) to speak to a counsellor on the phone.  All referrals to SARC take place via telephone conversation only. Support people are allocated a different SARC counsellor to their friend or loved one.

SARC generally provides up to 15 counselling sessions with a counsellor, depending on the needs of the individual.

Generally people continue with sessions until they feel they have resolved the issue which prompted them to seek counselling. 

Confidentiality is maintained where possible at all times.

More information about confidentiality at SARC.

More information about SARC services.

close up of man and woman's faceClose up of man and woman touching foreheads A woman being comforted by another woman