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Geelong: 03 5222 4318 Wimmera: 03 5381 1211 Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24 Hours): 1800 806 292 Safe Steps (24 Hours): 1800 015 188

Supporting a friend or family member

You may be unsure if your friend or relative is being abused. Maybe you just have a sense that something is ‘wrong’. There may not be any obvious signs of abuse.

Approach your friend or relative in a sensitive way. Tell them you are worried and explain why. Don’t push them into talking if they are uncomfortable, but let them know that you are there if they need to talk. They may not be ready to disclose that they have been abused, or may feel embarrassed, or afraid to talk about it.

If they feel supported and encouraged, they may feel stronger and more able to make decisions. The most important thing you can do is listen without judging, respect their decisions, and help them find ways to stay safe and become stronger.

How you respond and your support can make a big difference.

Support is available, you can also call our service to speak to a professional who can provide advice and support.

Sexual assault and family violence are a violation of human rights and are never acceptable in any form, in any community or culture.

For more information about how you can support a friend or family member experiencing family violence, please visit

Sometimes parenting or being a caregiver through family violence can be difficult and overwhelming. We have created trauma informed videos that are an easily accessible resource for parents and carers to increase their understanding of responding to the impact of family violence trauma on their child/young person and support their child’s safety and emotional recovery following trauma. For more information, please visit our Supporting your child/young person page.

The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of the land we stand on. We are committed to working toward creating a community where all people indigenous and non-indigenous are safe, connected and empowered to live well. The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre recognises the diverse needs of our community and we ensure our services are inclusive of all children, young people and their families including those who are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who identify as LGBTIQ and persons living with disability. We work collaboratively with people and partner organisations who also support our diverse client group. Interpreter and translator services are available to all our clients upon request.

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