Victoria’s Story – Sexual Assault Awareness Month
"In your darkest times there will be someone there to light a candle so you can see through the pain" – Victoria*, a mother and survivor of sexual assault who found hope and healing at Yarrow Place.
Trigger warning: this article discusses the trauma of sexual assault. The survivor has chosen to remain anonymous.
Victoria* went through her pregnancy alone and it wasn’t until a CaFHS (Child and Family Health Services) nurse asked her about the father of her child, that she opened up about the sexual assault he had committed against her whilst pregnant.
The CaFHS nurse suggested Yarrow Place as a service where she could find support, and this is where her healing journey began.
Yarrow Place is Rape and Sexual Assault Service run by the Women’s and Children’s Health Network and is a free and confidential service for people aged 16 years who have been sexually assaulted.
Soon after, Yarrow Place contacted Victoria*, and she had her first appointment. She felt comforted, understood and that she could open up without fear of judgement.
The process of therapy is daunting, but Victoria* found that she was never pressured to share more than she was comfortable with. She worked through the worksheets provided by Yarrow Place, which helped immensely with her PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and anxiety. With each appointment, she could open up about something new and learned more about herself and how to work through her triggers.
Through Yarrow Place, Victoria* found a safe space to heal and grow. It takes courage to seek help and to confront the trauma of sexual assault. Many survivors feel isolated and alone, but there is support available at Yarrow Place, a specialised sexual assault and rape service in South Australia.
“A year ago, I was a single mum who had been sexually assaulted and living in guilt and shame. I’m still a single mom who had been sexually assaulted, but I no longer hold that guilt or shame. Yarrow Place has guided me to a comfortable, liveable mindset where I can now hold my own light again.” She said.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, know that you are not alone. To find out more about Yarrow Place, visit www.yarrowplace.sa.gov.au or call 1800 817 421 (Toll-free in SA)
Some of the services at Yarrow Place include:
- 24 Hour Crisis Response Service for recent sexual assault
- Professional counselling and advocacy for recent and past sexual assault clients as well as their support people.
- Group programs, seminars, education, training and community capacity-building.
- Country response program
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month (SAAM), and aims to raise public awareness of the issue and educate our community on how we can all play a part in prevention.