BASS Coast Health (BCH) provides free and confidential sexual assault counselling for adults, children, and young people within the Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shires.

Sexual assault describes sexual behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened.

It is any sexual activity that you have not consented to and can sometimes involve another person using physical or emotional force against you.

BCH sexual assault counselling service is available to provide counselling, advocacy, information and support that is free, safe and confidential.

“The effects of sexual assault are far-reaching within the community,” manager at BCH, Kylie Pollard said.

“Surviving sexual assault is a complex experience and can impact a person’s self-esteem, trust, sense of security and the way they respond to the world around them.

“Sexual assault counselling is a non-judgmental, supportive process where we assist the person to work through thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are impacting their quality of life.”

Victims and survivors of sexual assault often report feeling reluctant to report the assault for fear of judgement or being blamed and there can sometimes be an intense feeling of shame around the event.

The counsellor is attuned to their emotions and aims to assist the person to work through whatever they bring to the counselling.

Anyone who has experienced any form of sexual assault can contact the free service, whether the sexual assault occurred years ago, or more recently.

Support is also offered to non-offending family members, partners and friends who have been impacted by sexual assault.

No referral is necessary and just call the BCH Access Team on 5671 3175 or email Access@basscoasthealth.org.au.