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Cairns Sexual Assault Service (CSAS) provides a free and confidential service for anyone affected by sexual violence.

CSAS provides support, information, advocacy, counselling and education.

If you have experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse at any time in your life, you are not to blame.

The Solander Centre
182 Grafton Street
Cairns QLD 4870

PO Box 1678
Cairns QLD 4870
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P 07 4031 3590
F 07 4031 6017
E csas@true.org.au
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What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is a term used to describe a range of violating and unwanted behaviours of a sexual nature directed towards a person.

Sexual violence includes:

  • sexual harassment and intimidation
  • unwanted touching
  • secret filming
  • unauthorised distribution of images
  • drink spiking
  • coerced sexual activity
  • incest
  • sexual abuse
  • sexual assault
  • intimate partner sexual violence (regardless of gender preference or marital status)
  • rape.

When is a sexual act considered sexual violence?

A sexual act may be considered sexual violence if:

  • you have not agreed or consented to it
  • you agreed only because of intimidation or coercion
  • you were unable to agree because you were asleep, intoxicated or for any other reason, unable to consent
  • an adult has sexual contact with a child.

Who we support

CSAS is an inclusive service supporting all people impacted by sexual violence (recent or historic) regardless of age, gender, sexual preference, ethnicity, religion, personal values or cultural background.

Our sister service, True Child & Family Service, supports children and young people who have experienced sexual assault or child sexual abuse or who engage in sexually reactive behaviours.

If you require a support person or have specific communication (translator or sign interpreter), cultural or physical access needs, please let us know so appropriate arrangements can be made in advance.

Receiving support

Individual responses to sexual violence vary.

Everyone is different and so is the type of support each person needs.

Sessions are client driven and do not necessarily require the sharing of intimate details.

An experience of sexual violence may impact several areas of a person's life. CSAS provides an opportunity to explore these areas in a safe, non-judgemental and confidential.

Sessions may be one-off to address a particular concern or ongoing to meet your needs.

People accessing the service can expect to:

  • be treated in a professional and caring manner that respects and appreciates differences regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion or personal values
  • tell your story and be believed
  • be provided with a physically and emotionally safe environment
  • have access to clear information about your counselling options, and be involved in decision making regarding these
  • have fair and equal access to the service
  • have your right to privacy and confidentiality protected to the greatest extent possible
  • make a complaint and expect that this will be investigated appropriately, without care being compromised in any way
  • have an interpreter, communication, cultural or support aide, if required

Our services

  • Information and support for victims/survivors of sexual violence and their non-offending partners, family members, carers, friends or support people
  • Face-to-face and telephone counselling
  • Referral and advocacy throughout police and legal processes
  • In-service, secondary consultation and resources for professionals working with anyone who has experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse
  • 24-hour crisis support for anyone presenting at the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department or the police after a recent sexual assault
  • On-site clinical care, including STI checks, pregnancy testing and emergency contraception
  • Community education

CSAS services are free and confidential. We have strict guidelines to ensure your information is private and secure. Any records of your contact with us are kept indefinitely, and you can access your records by request. More information on accessing records, privacy and confidentiality is available by contacting the service, and given in your first session.

Feedback

We encourage people who use our service to give feedback—whether making a complaint, giving a compliment or making suggestions. Our aim is to identify and resolve issues as quickly as possible, and to improve service delivery.

You can do this anonymously or give your details, and request follow-up if you would like it.

You can give feedback:

  • verbally to any staff member you feel comfortable with
  • on service feedback forms, provided at your first session or from staff at any time on request
  • online via our 'Email us' form

These will all be forwarded to the service manager, and processed according to our service Complaints Policy on a ‘need-to-know’ basis only.

If you have a serious concern or complaint about the conduct of your counsellor, you can speak to the service manager directly or complete the online feedback form on our website.

If you have feedback or complaints about our service that you wish to make to our funding body, you can contact:

The Regional Manager, Community Services
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
PO Box 1696
Cairns QLD 4870
(07) 4036 5300

You have the right:

  • to the fair and prompt investigation of any complaints you may have about the services you have received
  • to make a complaint without being disadvantaged
  • to make a complaint verbally or in writing
  • to have an advocate, translator or support person present if making a complaint
  • to be informed of the outcome of your complaint as soon as possible

You can ask any staff member for a full copy of our complaints policy.

Other services which could help

Sexual Assault Helpline    1800 010 120
1800 RESPECT
  1800 737 732
Lifeline   13 11 14