The Zig Zag Sexual Assault Service offers a range of services to the community including:
• Counselling and support
• Group work
• Community education
• Professional training
• Information resources for young women and for workers
Counselling and Support
Zig Zag's Sexual Assault Service provides information, advocacy, referral, support and counselling services to young women aged between the ages of 12 and 25 who have experienced sexual assault. The service recognises that young women face unique issues when dealing with the effects of sexual assault, and that they are less likely to be believed or supported. Young women are often more vulnerable to abuse from both individuals and institutions and often do not have the independent resources to access support and services. Young women can access short, medium or long term counselling depending on their needs and will be offered regular opportunities to review the counselling process to ensure that it is meeting their needs.
Sexual assault counsellors are also available to provide peer support to workers who are seeking support or assistance in their work with young women on issues relating to sexual violence.
A Zig Zag counsellor will:
- be a safe person to be with
- listen to young woman’s story and believe her
- provide information about what counselling is so young women know what to expect
- build a relationship with the young woman that is based on honesty, openness and respect
- provide some ideas and options about ways to explore her thoughts and feelings such as through writing, talking, art, group workprovide information that allow young women to make informed choices
- encourage and support young women in the decisions they make and respect her choices
- help young women to find supports in her community
- provide a confidential service
- help young women to rediscover their own inner strengths and build on them.
Twice a year, the Sexual Assault Service offers an 8-week therapeutic support group to young women who have experienced sexual assault. While group work isn’t for everyone, Zig Zag aims to provide a safe and supportive environment where young women can ‘break the silence’ surrounding their experiences of sexual assault, reduce the isolation that they feel, and learn some good tools for managing the impact of their experiences. Prior to starting group young women will attend an initial one-on-one meeting to receive and share information, and decide if Zig Zag’s group program would be useful.
How can a young women access sexual assault counselling?
A young woman or someone close to her can ring Zig Zag on 3843 1823 and ask to speak to one of the sexual assault workers. If our counselling service is appropriate for the young woman, the worker will then arrange to meet with her for an initial appointment. This is an opportunity for the young woman to talk about her needs and to find out what counselling is all about so that she can make her own informed decision regarding coming to Zig Zag. A young woman can bring a support person with her to her appointment.
Zig Zag can also come out to schools community groups and attend community events to provide education about the nature and incidence of sexual assault and its impacts on young women. With this, we aim to increase community awareness about the prevalence of sexual abuse, and contribute to the elimination of sexual violence against young women.
The workers in Zig Zag’s Sexual Assault Service are qualified professionals with years of experience in working in the area of sexual assault support. Workers are able to come out to service organisations and learning institutions to share their practice wisdom and provide training in relation to good practice when responding to young women affected by sexual assault. By providing training/professional development opportunities for other professionals we aim to increase capacity to respond appropriately to young women survivors of sexual assault. Click here to access our training request form, which you can email or fax back to the service to submit your training request.
The Zig Zag Sexual Assault Service produces a number of information resources for young women and the general community. These resources include general information about sexual assault, its impact on young women, and how support can help.
In addition to this Zig Zag produces and publishes a range of resources for human services workers and professionals that provides guidance and a good practice framework when responding appropriately to young women survivors of sexual assault. Click here for more information about Zig Zag’s information resources and to access our Resource Order Form.
To see the statement of young women’s rights and responsibilities when accessing services at Zig Zag please click here.
To see Zig Zag’s Privacy Statement please click here.