Safety and first aid

Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC)

SARC provides a 24-hour emergency service in metropolitan Perth. This involves medical care, a forensic examination and counselling support to people who have been sexually assaulted within the previous 14 days.

SARC also provides counselling in centres across the Perth metropolitan area to people who have experienced sexual assault and sexual abuse in the past. SARC is a free confidential service. It is not part of the police, but we will support a person's decision to involve the police.

Our expert team of highly qualified and experienced staff is committed to providing quality care to people who use our service. The SARC team has female medical doctors and female and male psychologists, social workers and clinical psychologists. We believe in offering choice and providing information to help people make informed decisions about their future.

Confidentiality

SARC provides a confidential service to people wherever possible and will not disclose information to another party without a person’s prior consent, unless there are concerns for that person or someone else’s safety.

Confidentiality exceptions

In some circumstances there are special legal requirements where SARC must disclose information. These are:

  • subpoenas and court orders which require the release of information
  • child abuse – under mandatory reporting laws in WA, SARC doctors must report the sexual assault or sexual abuse of young people under 18 years of age to the Department for Child Protection. Further action is not necessarily taken unless the young person is considered to be at further risk.
  • any indication of risk to the safety of others.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (external site), people are able to access their SARC records.

I am worried that someone will see me come into the building. Is it confidential?

SARC is located in a confidential building. The name is not displayed outside so people who see you go inside will not know your reason for doing so. SARC also offers a confidential service to its clients. This means that our records are confidential and cannot be accessed by anyone outside of SARC, unless you give your permission.

Cost

SARC services are free for Australian residents and people from countries with reciprocal health care arrangements with Australia (external site). There may be some costs for people who do not fit into these 2 categories.

Who can use the service?

If you have experienced a recent sexual assault, you can phone the 24-hour SARC crisis line on 9340 1828 or freecall 1800 199 888. You will speak to a duty counsellor who will ask you some questions; tell you about SARC and make a time for you to come to see a doctor and a counsellor.

If you want to get counselling, you can phone SARC on 9340 1828 between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. The duty counsellor will take down your details and ask you some questions about yourself. You will be notified, usually the following day, if you have been accepted for counselling at SARC.

Can I make an appointment for my son/daughter/partner?

No – the duty counsellor will always ask to speak to the person concerned because it is important to find out if they really want to come to SARC. Sometimes people are not ready to address their issues and it is important to let them make their own decisions about counselling. Counselling will not ‘work’ if the person does not want to be there.

If you need support around the best way to help someone who does not want counselling, even if it appears to you that they need it, our counsellors are happy to speak to you about this. The duty counsellor will ask questions to determine how best to help the person or whether SARC is the right service for them.

See also When someone close to you has been sexually assaulted.

How long will it be before somebody contacts me?

Outside of business hours, the SARC crisis line is answered by an answering service. Your name and telephone number will be requested. This is sent to the SARC counsellor on duty and they will return your call as soon as possible.

During business hours, 2 duty counsellors are available to respond immediately to telephone calls.

Where to get help

Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC)

  • 24 hour emergency line for recent sexual assault – phone 9340 1828 or 1800 199 888 (free from land line only)
  • Emergency telephone counselling between 8.30am and 11.00pm daily – phone 9340 1828

Alternatively

  • In an emergency situation, go to the nearest hospital emergency department
  • See your doctor

Acknowledgements
Sexual Assualt Resource Centre

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page