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

Common reactions and feelings

If you’ve been sexually assaulted or abused you could feel:

  • Shock
  • Shame
  • Fear
  • Helplessness
  • Sadness or depression
  • Nervous, worried or anxious.

You might go from feeling sad and afraid, to feeling angry — and then back to feeling sad again, or even numb.

There is no “right or wrong” way to feel. Everyone feels things in their own way.

Negative feelings

After being sexually assaulted, most of the feelings or emotions you feel are likely to be negative ones. Positive or “up” feelings make you feel good, but negative feelings make you feel “down”. You might also notice changes in the way you behave.

When people have negative feelings for a long time, it can sometimes lead to mental health problems. It’s important to know a bit about these problems so you can recognise the signs and get help if you need it.


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

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