Crisis Response

Crisis Support

What does crisis support at Southland Help include?
Southland Help has a crisis support services that operates between 9.00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday.

This includes the following services:
* Support in making a statement to the police
* Support through the forensic or therapeutic medical process
* Supportive listening, and referral to crisis counselling support
* Information
* Support with accessing resources, including finances to support your recovery from recent sexual assault

This may also include a referral to other support services provided within our agency, eg social work support, support group or programmes. It also may include support with navigating the court process, including court education and support during trial later on.

How can crisis support help a survivor?

Medical Care.Surviving a recent sexual assault may require medical care. Urgent medical care is available from any hospital emergency room, or DSAC clinician (Doctors of Sexual Abuse Care). We are able to assist with a referral and attending these appointments. We are also able to support you to have follow up medical care.

Reporting the sexual assault.Reporting a sexual assault is a difficult and personal decision, and often can seem like a daunting step to take. If you are uncertain whether or not you want to report, Southland Help can provide information when considering options. Contact with the centre does not obligate you to pursue any legal action, unless the person is a child or young person under the age of 17 years. We are able to organise a meeting with specially trained police detectives, who can provide information to help you decide to make a statement. We are also able to provide support while making a statement, and can provide active liaison with police following the statement.

Crisis Counselling. Victim/survivors of sexual abuse may experience a range of emotional and physical reactions following the traumatic event. We have specially trained counsellors who can provide support to people who experience trauma, and help with a survivor’s recovery.

Financial Support. We are able to support victim/survivors of sexual abuse to access financial assistance from Victim Support, such as emergency costs incurred immediately after the crime such as:
* replacing clothing or personal belongings lost, stolen or damaged during the crime or taken by the police for their investigation
* temporary accommodation, childcare or meals, for you and any children in your care, if the crime happened at your home
* repairs, cleaning or car hire if your car was involved in the crime
* repairs to your home if it was damaged as a result of the crime
* any income you lost taking time off work to be interviewed by the police
* costs travelling to and from a police station to report or help with the crime investigation.


Our counselling is designed to make you feel safe, supported, respected and able to make informed decisions – this is what we mean by empowerment and this is our goal for all the survivors we work with.
*All our counselling services are offered free of charge.

What Does Counselling At Southland Help Includes?
* We provide face-to-face counselling with experienced counsellors at our Invercargill office.
* We also provide counselling for family members, partners, spouses or friends of the survivor.
* We offer ongoing social support in the form of support groups for survivors.
* Support for a survivor through the process of reporting and prosecution: our Survivor Advocate will act as liaison with various people in the criminal justice system, such as police, medical personnel, court advisors and prosecutors. We offer pre-trial consultation services to help prepare survivors for the rape trial. We also offer support at court throughout this experience.

How Can Counselling Help A Survivor?
We believe that, in order to recover, a rape survivor needs to feel safe and respected; she/he also needs ongoing support and information that allows her/him to make informed choices. Our counsellors bear witness to all the survivor’s experiences and are the survivor’s ally in everything she/he needs to confront along the path to recovery. Counsellors bring the extensive resources of the organisation together to help survivors achieve recovery.

Who Are Our Counsellors?
We have a range of counsellors, from various disciplines, who have specialised in trauma recovery.
How To Make An Appointment?
Southland Help office hours are from 9.00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and delivered from 225 Tweed St.
You are able to call (03) 218 4357 to make a self referral, or request a referral form.
We offer counselling to both men and women.
Clients are requested to make their own appointments for counselling services.

Social Work

What does Social Work at Southland Help include?
Our Social Workers will provide a range of services and support that is developed with you and your family-whanau to assist with your recovery and resolving effects of sexual trauma. These include providing assistance with brokering resources, referring for practical assistance from other services, advocacy support through other systems and  processes e.g Child youth and Family Family Group Conferences, Strengthening Families,  exploring the impact of trauma on the family system, and developing strategies to resolve some of these effects, referring for individual  counselling, and other therapeutic service e.g drug and alcohol, mental health services, childcare. Social work is provided to address barriers that a person or family may have to navigating their own healing journey through counselling or other therapy.


What educational programmes do we offer at Southland Help?
IMAGINE Women is a group based education programme for survivors of sexual abuse that covers subjects such as looking at holistic self care, self image and healthy relationships, how self image is shaped and influenced by sexual trauma, and wider impacts such as media, culture, and relationship influences, boundaries and communication styles – including managing conflict and responses to threat, and bystander intervention.

IMAGINE Youth is a group based education programme targeting youth that have experienced sexual trauma, which has a more activity based component to the above subjects, and where we collaborate with other organisations such Adventure Southland.

Self Defence is a group based programme delivered by Wahine Toa Proactive Safety, in collaboration with Southland Help providing support to participants. It covers using your body language and voice, self safety when our and about, situational awareness, physical self defence techniques and context to sexual violence.

Training & Development

Southland Help has provided the following training and development in the Southland Community:

Community Workshops: Southland Help has delivered Dealing with Disclosures, and Sexual Violence and Justice workshops to professionals in the community.

As part of our services, we provide information and advice for professionals as well, considering referring clients in for services. Case consultations can be over the phone or face to face.

HELP offers counselling, resources, support, information and help to women, young adults and children who have experienced sexual assault. We provide a 24 hour crisis support service and confidential telephone line and advocacy services for survivors. Our counsellors are called out in the Auckland area to support anyone who has reported a sexual assault to the Police and are going through the associated procedures.

HELP is working towards ‘de-stigmatisation’ and breaking the silence around sexual violence and we speak out frequently both in the media and at conferences, giving a voice to survivors. We work alongside other agencies in a range of ways, including the New Zealand Police, NetSafe, Rape Prevention Education, SAFE Network, Child Youth and Family and schools and preschools in the area.

HELP staff offers professional supervision for those who require it as well as training to agencies that work with sexual abuse.