People with intellectual, psychiatric or physical disabilities can experience significant social disadvantage. Unfortunately the prevalence of sexual assault and abuse against people with disabilities is disproportionately high.
Some people with a disability are sexually assaulted by those who are meant to care for them, or by those who belong to an organisation providing a service. It can be incredibly difficult speaking out against the assault, especially if the perpetrator provided a service that is needed. If you are someone with a disability the perpetrator may have said things which make you feel you were sexually assaulted because you have a disability and/or are responsible for the abuse. You may feel you have or will have less control over your life, or will lose control and independence if family members, carer or friends find out.
The perpetrator may have threatened you to try and stop you from telling anybody about what happened. They may have said that nobody would believe you if you told them what had happened. It is important to know that people will believe you if you can find the the courage to speak out about what happened.
You are never responsible for any sexual assault or any other abuse that happens to you
It is important to know that the abuse did not happen because you have a disability, it happened because the perpetrator chose not to respect you, your body and your rights.
Nobody ever asks or deserves to be sexually assaulted and if you talk to someone from the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, we will do everything we can to support your safety and stop the abuse from happening.
People with disabilities have the same rights to advocacy and support as everyone else in the community. At the Canberra rape Crisis Centre we understand some of the difficulties which you may be dealing with, and we encourage you to access help and support, no matter what situation you are in, and we will respect your rights and wishes.
We have trained counsellors who can provide you with counselling, advocacy if you decide you wish to speak to police and offer help with accessing information and further support. Their contact details are listed under Other Useful Contacts.
In all emergencies phone the police on 000.
Phone the Rape Crisis Centre any time on (02) 6247 2525.