Support & Resources

Support Services

There are a number of professional counselling and guidance services available to help victims of abuse, and those around them. Below are a list of professional counselling and guidance services that can be contacted, in most cases, any time of day or night. Scouts Victoria also provides counselling services to those who have suffered abuse or trauma through Scouting.


If anyone is in immediate danger, always call 000.

We have categorised support services into the following:

Support for children and young people, and those supporting them

24 Hours: Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

Kids Helpline is Australia’s free, 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.

Office hours: Bravehearts - 1800 272 831

Bravehearts has been actively contributing to the provision of child sexual assault services throughout the nation since 1997.

The Bravehearts national information and support line can be accessed by anyone wanting information or support regarding child sexual assault, including but not limited to parents, carers, adult survivors and professionals such as teachers, guidance officers, doctors and psychologists.

Services provided include:

  • Information and support;
  • Counselling;
  • Advice and referral;
  • Support for professionals working with children;
  • Guidance around reporting disclosures;
  • Information on normal and problematic sexual behaviour; and
  • Teaching personal safety.

Our toll free 1800 272 831 Support Line is open during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday AEST (Please note hours vary on public holidays).

People with hearing and speech impairments can reach us through the NATIONAL RELAY SERVICE:

TTY users phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 272 831

Speak and Listen users phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 272 831

Internet relay users connect to the NRS www.iprelay.com.au/call/index.aspx then ask for 1800 272 831

Office hours: Child Wise - 1800 991 099

The Child Wise National Child Abuse Helpline is a toll-free number providing Australians with access to expert advice from trained counsellors and an opportunity to speak up about child abuse.

Child Wise also receives calls from people seeking information or support in regards to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child  Sexual Abuse. Please click here for more information about the Royal Commission and our Starting Point  Helpline services.

You can contact the toll-free National Child Abuse  Helpline from Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm AEST:
Email: helpline@childwise.org.au

Support services for those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds

Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY)

The CMY works to ensure that young people have every opportunity to succeed in Australia. Through a combination of specialist support services, training and consultancy, knowledge sharing and advocacy, they are working to remove the barriers young people face as they make Australia their home.

“The young people we work with tell us they prefer not to be defined by labels. It is important however, to explain that most of our work focuses on young from migrant and refugee backgrounds, 12-25 years old, with a particular priority on those who are newly-arrived to Australia.”

Victorian Multicultural Commission – Community Directory

The Multicultural Commission Community Directory provides a searchable list of organisations associated with different ethnicities found throughout Victoria. These cultural and ethnic groups can help those looking to learn more about their own (or another) culture, as well as provide an additional support to those from CALD communities.

Support services for those from Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds

Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) was established in 1973 to address the specific medical needs of Victorian indigenous communities. The organisation has expanded steadily over past 40 years to provide a comprehensive range of medical, dental and social services for our community.

As well as providing a variety of medical services, VAHS is committed to supporting the well-being of the community through contributions to community events and activities. VAHS is also committed to assisting research into the ongoing needs of the community.

Victorian Aboriginal and Community Services Association Ltd.

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd (VACSAL) is a community based, community controlled organisation compromising of representatives from Koorie organisations across the state. It provides advice to Government on a range of community development issues as well as being a major provider of extensive services to the Aboriginal community in both the metropolitan and some regional communities.

Support services for those living with disabilities

National Disability Insurance Scheme – Victoria

The NDIS is a national program that will provide a new way of delivering services and support for people with permanent and significant disability in Australia. With the NDIS, people with disability can choose supports and services to meet their individual needs, rather than have to fit into a one-size-fits-all system. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the independent agency responsible for implementing the NDIS.

Office hours: National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline – 1800 800 052

The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline exists to provide support to you or someone you may care for to report abuse and neglect of people with disability.

It is available between 9am and 7pm on weekdays, except for Australian public holidays.

Support for LGBTIQ+ young people and adults, and their family and friends

After hours: Switchboard Victoria 1800 184 527

Switchboard is a volunteer organisation which provides a free, confidential and anonymous telephone counselling, referral and information service for the Victorian and Tasmanian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities and their supporters. The phones are operated by trained volunteers who themselves identify as LGBTIQ.

Switchboard operates between 3pm and midnight every day.

Minus18

Minus18 is an organisation for LGBTIQ people under the age of 18, run by LGBTIQ young people. It provides a variety of services, from social groups and events to mentoring and online support. They do not provide immediate counselling services.

Support for all survivors of sexual assault or abuse

24 hours: 1880 RESPECT 1800 737 732

1800RESPECT is the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service. It is a confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After hours: Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1800 806 292

The Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria (SACL) is a state-wide, after-hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for victim/survivors of both past and recent sexual assault.

SACL operates between 5pm weeknights through to 9am the next day and throughout weekends and public holidays.

Support for adults who survived sexual abuse or assault as a child

Survivors of child sexual abuse

Information and support for those personally affected by child sexual abuse, or for parents of a child who has been abused.

 

Office hours: Blue Knot Foundation - 1300 657 380

Blue Knot Foundation, formerly known as Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA), is the leading national organisation working to improve the lives of 5 million Australian adults who have experienced childhood trauma and abuse. Blue Knot Foundation helps adults who have experienced trauma in childhood recover. This includes people who have experienced child abuse in all its forms, neglect, domestic violence in childhood and other adverse childhood events.

Email: helpline@blueknot.org.au
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

Other support services

24 hours: Lifeline - 13 11 14

Lifeline provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services. Find out how these services can help you, a friend or loved one.

13 11 14 is a confidential telephone crisis support service available 24/7 from a landline, payphone or mobile.

Anyone across Australia experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide can contact Lifeline. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation our trained volunteers are ready to listen, provide support and referrals.

 

Office hours and evenings: Victims of Crime Helpline - 1800 819 817

The official Victorian Government service for people affected by crime.

Provides free information and support to help you manage the effects of crime and guide you through the legal process.

Call or text the Victims of Crime Helpline to:

  • get advice about reporting a crime
  • find other services that can help you
  • get information about your rights
  • get information about how courts work
  • get help applying for compensation and financial assistance.

Open 8am -11pm, 7 days a week

Call 1800 819 817

Text 0427 767 891

 

Care Leavers Australia network - 1800 008 774

CLAN is a support, advocacy, research and training network for people who grew up in Australian orphanages, children's Homes, foster care and other institutions. CLAN understands that being raised without your own family has lifelong effects which require lifelong support services.

CLAN offers free telephone and face to face (if in NSW or VIC) counselling, help to obtain your records, help to write your story and a bi-monthy newsletter containing all the latest information for Care Leavers

Resources for understanding or discussing child abuse

Responding to children and young people’s disclosures of abuse: Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2015.

Child Wise Fact Sheets:

  • What is child sexual abuse?
  • Normal vs concerning sexual development in children
  • What is child sexual abuse? (pictorial poster)
  • Relevant legislation and type of child safe screening used in each state and territory
  • Child abuse in Australia (infographic)

What to look for in a child safe organisation: Commission for Children and Young People, n.d.

Preventing Abuse: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (UK), 2016

Child Safe Scouting poster for Scout Halls

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