Local community organisation Desert Blue Connect is promoting Sexual Violence Awareness month to throw their support behind ending sexual violence and helping those affected.

Sexual Violence Awareness Month is an annual international campaign held in April that raises awareness about sexual violence, promotes support options to those affected by sexual violence and assault, and supports a clear message that sexual violence will not be tolerated in our communities.

Sexual violence is any behaviour of a sexual nature that makes someone feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened, has not been agreed or consented to, and where physical or emotional force is used.  Sexual violence can include sexual harassment, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, stalking, sex related insults and use of technology to hurt others.

“Sexual violence can be a very traumatic experience for both men and women and those affected can find it hard to tell others or seek help due to a sense of shame,” says Alison Adam, Desert Blue Connect CEO said. “Quite often they fear negative reactions from others or victim blaming which can lead to them experiencing negative mental and physical health effects.”

“Seeking professional help can assist the process of recovery from sexual violence, as well as reduce trauma and these negative effects,” Ms. Adam said. “Our services offer a safe space where you will feel supported, listened to and receive counselling.”

Desert Blue Connect offers specialist sexual assault services in the Midwest region, providing free and confidential counselling and support for men and women, face to face at the office or by phone for outreach clients.  They also offer information, support and counselling for partners or family members and education for community or professional groups.

A Sexual Assault Crisis Line is also offered and is available 24 hours/7 days per week – 1800 016 789.

Desert Blue Connect provide a range of free or low cost services that include women’s health, rural support services, family violence response, primary prevention and crisis accommodation for women and children.

For an appointment at Desert Blue Connect, call 9964 2742 or drop into the office at 25 Chapman Road in Geraldton.

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