Women Sexual Assault Centre
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Getting Support/Counselling


Many people have a hard time dealing with so-called negative emotions such as anger, hatred, or pain in themselves and others. The underlying assumptions in expressions such as, "it's over and done with" and "leave the past behind" communicate expectations that we should put aside our reactions and quickly get over unpleasant experiences. Because of this pressure, we may attempt to silence ourselves and ignore our pain.

Research shows that the sooner a survivor can speak of his/her experience in a supportive environment, including with family, friends, and professional counsellor, the more rapid and thorough the healing process.

Being able to talk to someone about your experience of sexual assault is extremely important. If you do not talk about your feelings and hope to forget what has happened, these feelings may keep recurring throughout your life. Many women find the impact of sexual assault more emotionally devastating when it is not dealt with or talked about. Getting counselling at this time is a way of acknowledging what has happened to you, beginning the process of healing and regaining a sense of control over your life. You deserve and may need the support of a skilled counsellor who can help you take the time required to heal from this experience.

Crisis, Victim Service and longer-term counselling support is available. Please call the Information and Crisis Line (383-3232) in Victoria, or VictimLink at 1-800-563-0808.

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