If you have been sexually assaulted please contact your nearest Centre Against Sexual Assault. In Victoria, phone 1800 806 292. In the rest of Australia phone 1800 RESPECT


Anxiety means feeling nervous and worried. Feeling anxious can be caused by many things including:

  • A situation you might be in or be thinking about
  • An experience you’re having or thinking about
  • Anxiety Disorders — see Headspace for more info


If you’ve been sexually assaulted or abused , you might feel some symptoms of anxiety if you are reminded about the assault by a smell, sound or something happening. These are called triggers.

You might feel nervous or you might have an anxiety attack — also called a panic attack. Symptoms can include:

  • Short, shallow breaths
  • An increase in your heart rate
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Having trouble hearing
  • Wanting to be sick
  • Just wanting to get away.

Dealing with anxiety

When you are anxious you can feel out of control. Worrying about it only makes it worse. One of the best ways to treat anxiety is to try to reduce the symptoms as soon as you start feeling them. It’s harder to stop a full anxiety attack than to deal with it at the first signs.

One of the simplest and best things to do is to slow down your body’s responses. Breathing exercises will slow down your heart rate and help you take deeper breaths. You will feel less light-headed and more in control.


If you don't want to talk to the police you can report anonymously at Sexual Assault Report Anonymously

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